3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: TAL, WGL, TE

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."

TAL International Group

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

TAL International Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, leases intermodal transportation equipment and provides maritime container management services worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.92.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 296,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 22.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates TAL International Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 gross profit margin for TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 84.81%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 17.95% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $103.78 million or 36.97% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.19%.
  • TAL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, TAL 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. 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.
  • TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 22.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $3.87 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.6% in earnings ($3.80 versus $4.25).

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

WGL Holdings

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

WGL Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, sells and delivers natural gas, and provides energy-related products and services. The company operates in four segments: Regulated Utility, Retail Energy-Marketing, Commercial Energy Systems, and Midstream Energy Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 139.71.

The average volume for WGL Holdings has been 303,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. WGL Holdings has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 WGL Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 60.96% to $200.82 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 26.29%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.66, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.38 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • WGL HOLDINGS INC's earnings per share declined by 21.1% 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, WGL HOLDINGS INC reported lower earnings of $1.55 versus $2.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.55 versus $1.55).
  • WGL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that 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.

TECO Energy

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

TECO Energy, Inc., an electric and gas utility holding company, is engaged in the regulated electric and gas utility operations. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.79.

The average volume for TECO Energy has been 2,285,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. TECO Energy has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 TECO Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, growth in earnings per share 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 stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • TECO ENERGY INC has improved earnings per share by 12.5% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, TECO ENERGY INC reported lower earnings of $0.92 versus $1.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.02 versus $0.92).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 13.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $51.40 million to $58.40 million.
  • TE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for TECO ENERGY INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.93%. Regardless of TE'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 8.04% 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.

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