3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: TAL, ETP, EPB

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: 6.90%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.90%.

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 11.28.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 330,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 26.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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 revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TAL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.7%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.63%. Regardless of TAL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAL's net profit margin of 19.85% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $123.45 million or 6.20% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 6.32%.
  • TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 5.8% 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 10.7% in earnings ($3.79 versus $4.25).
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, TAL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.85% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

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

Energy Transfer Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

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

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. is engaged in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 320.55.

The average volume for Energy Transfer Partners has been 1,888,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Energy Transfer Partners has a market cap of $22.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 13.1% 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 Energy Transfer Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.8%. 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 47.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $320.00 million to $471.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $891.00 million or 9.86% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.28%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.24 versus $5.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.14 versus -$0.24).

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

El Paso Pipeline Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

El Paso Pipeline Partners (NYSE: EPB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. owns and operates interstate natural gas transportation and terminaling facilities in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.98.

The average volume for El Paso Pipeline Partners has been 2,212,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. El Paso Pipeline Partners has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.1% 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 El Paso Pipeline Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 76.99%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 36.93% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • EPB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, EPB 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. 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 22.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.86 versus $2.15 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 15.3% in earnings ($1.58 versus $1.86).

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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