5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: NMM, EDUC, MCC, INTX, APU

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

Navios Maritime Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 12.00%

Navios Maritime Partners L.P (NYSE: NMM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.00%.

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. engages in the ownership and operation of dry cargo vessels in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.55.

The average volume for Navios Maritime Partners L.P has been 372,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Navios Maritime Partners L.P has a market cap of $966.2 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 20.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Navios Maritime Partners L.P as a buy. 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NMM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. 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 current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, NMM has a quick ratio of 2.31, 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 Marine industry and the overall market, NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 93.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 32.31% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, NMM 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. 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.

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Educational Development Corporation

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

Educational Development Corporation (NASDAQ: EDUC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Educational Development Corporation operates as a trade publisher of the line of children's books in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.00.

The average volume for Educational Development Corporation has been 7,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Educational Development Corporation has a market cap of $14.0 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 7.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Educational Development Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.20%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.68% is above that of the industry average.
  • EDUC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.99 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP's earnings per share declined by 31.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.36 versus $0.30 in the prior year.
  • EDUC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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.

Medley Capital

Dividend Yield: 9.40%

Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.40%.

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 10.56.

The average volume for Medley Capital has been 514,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medley Capital has a market cap of $439.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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. 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 ratings report include:
  • MCC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 102.6%. 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 33.04% 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, 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 has improved earnings per share by 17.6% 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 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 ($1.49 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 97.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.84 million to $11.52 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.00%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 57.01% 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.

Intersections

Dividend Yield: 8.00%

Intersections (NASDAQ: INTX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.00%.

Intersections Inc. provides consumer identity risk management services in the United States. Its services help consumers understand and monitor their credit profiles and other personal information, and protect themselves against identity theft or fraud. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.11.

The average volume for Intersections has been 83,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Intersections has a market cap of $180.9 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intersections as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • INTX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTX has a quick ratio of 1.60, 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, INTERSECTIONS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $10.33 million or 27.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, INTERSECTIONS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -23.58%.
  • The gross profit margin for INTERSECTIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 67.90%. Regardless of INTX'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 1.90% trails 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.

AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.30%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.30%.

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 183.68.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 108,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 18.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 65.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $133.89 million to $221.82 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 47.40% is the gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.72% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • 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.
  • AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 27.8% 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, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.05 versus $1.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.35 versus -$0.05).

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.

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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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