The S&P 500, S&P 400, and S&P 600 experienced declines of 6.01%, 6.48%, and 6.27% during May 2012. So where can an investor go for less risk and better stock performance? The answer is stocks with higher quality rank outperformed lower quality stocks in May. In the S&P 500, S&P 400, and S&P 600 stocks with rank A outperformed stocks with rank C by 2.52%, 6.70%, and 3.98%. In the Russell 1000, Russell 2000, and Russell 3000 stocks with high quality A ratings outperformed by 5.26%, 4.65%, and 4.30%.
Taking these statistics into account, I have identified the best performing A-rated stocks in 2012. These stocks have the highest quality A rating issued by Standard & Poor's and are rated bullish or better by the equity summary score (consensus rating among analysts). Being included in both of these lists increases the validity for a positive or bullish outlook in the next year or more. In addition, all of these stocks have a long-term EPS projection of 12% or more and a dividend yield of 1.0% or better. In summary, these stocks will perform well in any type of market as they have high quality, high growing earnings and pay dividends.
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) designs, engineers and manufactures snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, motorcycles and personal watercraft and markets them, together with related replacement parts, garments and accessories through dealers and distributors. PII earnings were up 27% in Q1 as more people bought its off-road vehicles used on farms and in thrill-seeking sports. PII has beaten estimates for at least eight straight quarters and the company raised its full-year outlook again. PII is up 32% year to date with EPS projected to grow 18% next year. PII has a 2.0% dividend yield with a 5-year average dividend growth rate of 16.8%. PII has an equity summary score of 7.8 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.
The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide. The Company operates 1,006 T.J. Maxx, 892 Marshalls, and 390 HomeGoods stores in the United States with addition stores in Canada and Europe. Sales for the four-week period ended May 26, 2012, were $1.9 billion, up 10% over the $1.7 billion achieved during the four-week period ended May 28, 2011. For the 17-week period ended May 26, 2012, sales reached $7.7 billion, an 11% increase over the$6.9 billion achieved in the same period last year. TJX is up 27% year to date with EPS projected to grow 11.4% next year. TJX has a 1.12% dividend yield with a 5-year average dividend growth rate of 20%. TJX has an equity summary score of 9.1 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) is booming as the entertainment and media reported a 21% jump in quarterly profit on improved performance at its theme parks and resorts, as well as with the ESPN and ABC television networks. Earnings came in at $1.14 billion or 63 cents a share, topping Wall Street's estimates. Things are looking up inside the Magic Kingdom. Disney released the record-breaking "The Avengers," which has taken in $552.7 million in domestic sales, so far, making it the third best-selling film in history, surpassing "The Dark Knight" and behind only "Avatar" and "Titanic". DIS is up 19.5% year to date with EPS projected to grow 15% next year. DIS has a 1.34% dividend yield with a 5-year average dividend growth rate of 14%. DIS has an equity summary score of 8.1 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.June 29 to shareholders of record as of June 15. Toro has seen strong bottom-line growth in recent quarters, driven by increasing sales from the professional division, its biggest top-line contributor. TTC is up 17.3% year to date with EPS projected to grow 16% next year. TTC has a 1.24% dividend yield with a 5-year average dividend growth rate of 13%. TTC has an equity summary score of 7.2 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.
The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems, to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. The company had record 2nd quarter results and raised its full-year earnings outlook by 10 cents, now seeing $ 4.30 a share. It also sees revenue growth of 7% to 8%, from its previously guided projections of 6% to 7% growth. Toro announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a two-for-one split of the company's common stock, which will be effected in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend. The stock dividend will be distributed
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.