NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Women's soccer team made history Sunday by winning its third World Cup over Japan in a 5-2 victory. As U.S. professional soccer grows in popularity, it's no surprise that big companies are sponsoring the sport hoping to get a win from the exposure.

Among the 14 companies sponsoring the U.S. men and women's teams, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev  (BUD) and Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) several were top-rated companies that could give investors a chance of scoring a goal in their portfolios.

So, which soccer sponsors are also buys for investors? Here are the top four, according to TheStreet Ratings,TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which companies made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which volatile aerospace and defense stocks to buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on July 2, 2015, closing prices. The highest-rated stock appears last.

 

T ChartT data by YCharts
4. AT&T Inc. (T - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A-
Market Cap: $185 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.4%

AT&T Inc. provides telecommunications services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Wireless and Wireline.

"We rate AT&T INC (T) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • T's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.3%. 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 AT&T INC is rather high; currently it is at 55.24%. Regardless of T's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.82% trails the industry average.
  • AT&T INC's earnings per share declined by 12.9% 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, AT&T INC reported lower earnings of $1.19 versus $3.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.52 versus $1.19).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 12.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3,652.00 million to $3,200.00 million.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.12, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.48 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.

JNJ ChartJNJ data by YCharts
3. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A-
Market Cap: $272 billion
Year-to-date return: -5.9%

Johnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, researches and develops, manufactures, and sells various products in the health care field worldwide. It operates in three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices.

"We rate JOHNSON & JOHNSON (JNJ) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • JNJ's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, JNJ has a quick ratio of 1.80, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, JOHNSON & JOHNSON has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • JOHNSON & JOHNSON's earnings per share declined by 6.7% 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, JOHNSON & JOHNSON increased its bottom line by earning $5.70 versus $4.82 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.14 versus $5.70).
  • JNJ, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

VAC ChartVAC data by YCharts
2. Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (VAC - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.9 billion
Year-to-date return: 22.4%

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation develops, markets, sells, and manages vacation ownership and related products under the Marriott Vacation Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands.

"We rate MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE (VAC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. 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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.57, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 90.74% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 57.07% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, VAC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE increased its bottom line by earning $2.30 versus $2.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.48 versus $2.30).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 79.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $19.00 million to $34.05 million.

NKE ChartNKE data by YCharts
1. NIKE, Inc. (NKE - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $94.2 billion
Year-to-date return: 14.3%

NIKE, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, markets, and sells athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories for men, women, and kids worldwide.

"We rate NIKE INC (NKE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 25.64% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 40.29% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NKE should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NIKE INC has improved earnings per share by 25.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, NIKE INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.70 versus $2.98 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.18 versus $3.70).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods industry average. The net income increased by 23.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $698.00 million to $865.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NKE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.10 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.47, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.