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." Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE: ORI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%. Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in underwriting insurance products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.25. The average volume for Old Republic International Corporation has been 1,253,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Old Republic International Corporation has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 2.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Old Republic International Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- ORI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- ORI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
- You can view the full Old Republic International Corporation Ratings Report.