Best 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: MO, GEO, NGLS

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."

Altria Group

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Altria Group (NYSE: MO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.90.

The average volume for Altria Group has been 6,210,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Altria Group has a market cap of $89.9 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 16.8% 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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.93%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • ALTRIA GROUP INC'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, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $2.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.26).
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
  • 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 Tobacco industry and the overall market, ALTRIA GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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

GEO Group

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

GEO Group (NYSE: GEO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

The GEO Group, Inc. provides government-outsourced services specializing in the management of correctional, detention, and re-entry facilities, and the provision of community based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.98.

The average volume for GEO Group has been 471,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. GEO Group has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.3% 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.

TheStreet Ratings rates GEO Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 13.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $34.21 million to $38.90 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $68.99 million or 23.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GEO GROUP INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.92%.

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

Targa Resources Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Targa Resources Partners (NYSE: NGLS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Targa Resources Partners LP is engaged in the ownership, operation, acquisition, and development of midstream energy assets in the United States. The company operates through two divisions, Gathering and Processing, and Logistics and Marketing. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.06.

The average volume for Targa Resources Partners has been 315,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Targa Resources Partners has a market cap of $8.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 34.5% 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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Targa Resources Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 43.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 313.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $26.30 million to $108.80 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 2652.94% to $140.40 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.24%.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TARGA RESOURCES PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 6300.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 45.72% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.

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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