Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: TAL, RDS.B, SO

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends which could subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.

TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.

These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

The following pages contain our analysis of 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

TAL International Group

Dividend Yield: 6.60%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.60%.

TAL International Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, leases intermodal transportation equipment and provides maritime container management services worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.90.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 492,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 25.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TAL International Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.59%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 19.08% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $74.43 million or 11.99% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.58%.
  • TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 20.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $3.87 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 8.2% in earnings ($3.90 versus $4.25).
  • In its most recent trading session, TAL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.B) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.04.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 641,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $278.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $13,984.00 million or 20.97% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.91%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • RDS.B's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.82 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC's earnings per share declined by 44.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC reported lower earnings of $5.18 versus $8.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($14.49 versus $5.18).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Southern

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Southern (NYSE: SO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.73.

The average volume for Southern has been 4,666,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Southern has a market cap of $38.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 279.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $97.00 million to $368.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,103.00 million or 49.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.42%.
  • SOUTHERN CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOUTHERN CO reported lower earnings of $1.87 versus $2.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.77 versus $1.87).
  • SO has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.91% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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