3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: SPH, CPLP, FGP

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."

Suburban Propane Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.85.

The average volume for Suburban Propane Partners has been 161,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Suburban Propane Partners has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suburban Propane Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:
  • SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP has improved earnings per share by 9.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.44 versus $0.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.05 versus $1.44).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 36.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.05, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Gas Utilities industry. Despite the fact that SPH's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.79 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 15.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $129.49 million to $149.55 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, SPH 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.

Capital Product Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Capital Product Partners (NASDAQ: CPLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Capital Product Partners L.P., a shipping company, provides marine transportation services in Greece. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.72.

The average volume for Capital Product Partners has been 193,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Capital Product Partners has a market cap of $945.4 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Capital Product Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.7%. 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 CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 66.44%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.69% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $26.80 million or 49.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.43%.
  • CPLP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that CPLP's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.01 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of 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.

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

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. distributes and sells propane and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.45.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 204,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 36.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.68 versus -$0.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.01 versus $0.68).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, this stock has enjoyed a nice rise of 25.19% which was in line with the performance of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 3.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $58.21 million to $60.46 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 17.38%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.95% trails that of 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.

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