Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: NS, BP, RCI

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."

NuStar Energy L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

NuStar Energy L.P (NYSE: NS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

NuStar Energy L.P. is engaged in the terminalling, storage, and marketing of petroleum products, and transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia primarily in the United States and the Netherlands. The company operates in three segments: Storage, Pipeline, and Fuels Marketing.

The average volume for NuStar Energy L.P has been 473,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. NuStar Energy L.P has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 18.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NuStar Energy L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share 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:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 300.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 35.23% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NUSTAR ENERGY LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, NUSTAR ENERGY LP continued to lose money by earning -$2.89 versus -$3.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.00 versus -$2.89).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 61.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $24.57 million to $39.74 million.
  • NS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 14.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NUSTAR ENERGY LP is rather low; currently it is at 17.45%. Regardless of NS'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 4.68% trails 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.

BP

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

BP (NYSE: BP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.88.

The average volume for BP has been 4,724,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. BP has a market cap of $173.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year 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 significantly increased by 107.48% to $8,231.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BP PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.43%.
  • 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.41, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 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 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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

Rogers Communications

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Rogers Communications Inc. operates as a communications and media company in Canada. Its Wireless segment provides wireless voice and high-speed data communication services to consumers and businesses under the Rogers, Fido, and Chatr brands; and wireless devices and applications. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.91.

The average volume for Rogers Communications has been 355,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rogers Communications has a market cap of $16.4 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rogers Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 38.21% is the gross profit margin for ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, RCI's net profit margin of 10.16% significantly trails the industry average.
  • RCI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $408.00 million or 49.31% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.07 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, RCI maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.89, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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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