Don't Miss Out: Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: LPT, DUK, MAIN

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."

Liberty Property

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Liberty Property (NYSE: LPT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Liberty Property Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment holding trust. Through its subsidiary, it provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.82.

The average volume for Liberty Property has been 647,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Liberty Property has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Liberty Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.9%. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $71.24 million to $71.90 million.
  • LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 10.5% 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, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.67 versus $0.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.16 versus $0.67).
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, LPT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 12.76% 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.
  • The gross profit margin for LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.38%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 35.19% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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

Duke Energy Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.90.

The average volume for Duke Energy Corporation has been 2,999,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $49.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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:
  • DUK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.6%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,373.00 million or 25.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DUKE ENERGY CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.38%.
  • DUKE ENERGY CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, DUKE ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.73 versus $3.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.58 versus $3.73).
  • The gross profit margin for DUKE ENERGY CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.48%. Regardless of DUK's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.46% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, DUK 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, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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

Main Street Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE: MAIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

Main Street Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in long- term equity, equity related, and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.78.

The average volume for Main Street Capital Corporation has been 400,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Main Street Capital Corporation has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Main Street Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 84.56%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 88.49% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Capital Markets industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 15.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $23.63 million to $27.23 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, MAIN 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.

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