3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: LO, ENLK, EEP

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."

Lorillard

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Lorillard (NYSE: LO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Lorillard, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Cigarettes and Electronic Cigarettes. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.69.

The average volume for Lorillard has been 3,609,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lorillard has a market cap of $21.5 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 16.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Lorillard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • LORILLARD INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, LORILLARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.14 versus $2.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.33 versus $3.14).
  • The gross profit margin for LORILLARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 53.97%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 23.13% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LO's share price has jumped by 44.15%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp 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 other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$628.00 million or 21.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 21.47%, LORILLARD INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -30.65%.

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

EnLink Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

EnLink Midstream Partners (NASDAQ: ENLK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

EnLink Midstream Partners, LP, through its subsidiary, EnLink Midstream Operating, LP, provides midstream energy services. It is engaged in the gathering, transmission, processing, fractionation, and marketing natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, and condensate.

The average volume for EnLink Midstream Partners has been 419,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. EnLink Midstream Partners has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 13.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

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

Enbridge Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. owns and operates crude oil and liquid petroleum transportation and storage assets; and natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation, and marketing assets in the United States. It operates through three segments: Liquids, Natural Gas, and Marketing.

The average volume for Enbridge Energy Partners has been 855,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enbridge Energy Partners has a market cap of $9.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 21.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Enbridge Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and revenue growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was trading one year ago, EEP is up 20.73% to its most recent closing price of 35.99. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of a bull or bear market could certainly alter the outcome, our view is that this stock's positive fundamentals give it good potential for further appreciation.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.9%. 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.
  • ENBRIDGE ENERGY PRTNRS -LP 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. 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, ENBRIDGE ENERGY PRTNRS -LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.38 versus $1.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus -$0.38).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 33.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $105.30 million to $70.10 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.34, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:
null

If you liked this article you might like

Reynolds Drops on Lorillard Debt; Stocks End Mixed on Jobs Report

Reynolds Drops on Lorillard Debt; Stocks End Mixed on Jobs Report

Lorillard (LO) Stock Continues To Gain Following FTC Approval of Merger with Reynolds American

Lorillard (LO) Stock Continues To Gain Following FTC Approval of Merger with Reynolds American

Stocks Extend Gains, Undeterred by Higher Dollar and Lower Oil

Stocks Extend Gains, Undeterred by Higher Dollar and Lower Oil

FTC Clears Reynolds to Inhale Lorillard for $27B by End of June

FTC Clears Reynolds to Inhale Lorillard for $27B by End of June

Lorrilard (LO) Stock Rising on Approval of Reynolds Merger

Lorrilard (LO) Stock Rising on Approval of Reynolds Merger