4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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 and 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Triangle Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Triangle Capital Corporation (NYSE: TCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Triangle Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in private equity and mezzanine investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.60.

The average volume for Triangle Capital Corporation has been 262,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Triangle Capital Corporation has a market cap of $749.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Triangle Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 36.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 37.70% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, TCAP should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 25.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.40 million to $15.59 million.
  • The gross profit margin for TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 82.00%. Regardless of TCAP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCAP's net profit margin of 62.43% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 5.5% 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, TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $2.22 versus $2.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.30 versus $2.22).

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Medley Capital

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Medley Capital Corporation is a business development company. The fund seeks to invest in privately negotiated debt and equity securities of small and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.89.

The average volume for Medley Capital has been 475,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medley Capital has a market cap of $433.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medley Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MCC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 115.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 56.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 34.81% 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, MCC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.24 versus $0.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus $1.24).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 119.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.39 million to $9.61 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 67.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 54.25% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Crestwood Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Crestwood Midstream Partners (NYSE: CMLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP primarily engages in the gathering, processing, treating, compressing, transporting, and selling natural gas in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Barnett, Fayetteville, Granite Wash, and Marcellus. The company has a P/E ratio of 67.97.

The average volume for Crestwood Midstream Partners has been 235,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Crestwood Midstream Partners has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 11.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Crestwood Midstream Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $19.13 million or 7.06% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.00%.
  • 48.30% is the gross profit margin for CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of CMLP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CMLP's net profit margin of 8.52% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP reported lower earnings of $0.37 versus $1.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.48 versus $0.37).
  • CMLP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CMLP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.10 is sturdy.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 165.19.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 115,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 13.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 48.30% is the gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 11.02% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 441.71% to $40.49 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 33.36%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 127.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $42.53 million to $96.67 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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