4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: TCRD, NMM, TNH, 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

THL Credit

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

THL Credit, Inc. is a private equity and mezzanine firm specializing in mature, bridge, PIPES, industry consolidation, acquisition, recapitalization, change of control transactions, and growth capital investments in both sponsored and unsponsored middle-market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.29.

The average volume for THL Credit has been 240,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. THL Credit has a market cap of $401.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates THL Credit as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • THL CREDIT INC has improved earnings per share by 17.9% 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, THL CREDIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.26 versus $1.19 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.38 versus $1.26).
  • 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 51.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.71 million to $8.61 million.
  • The gross profit margin for THL CREDIT INC is rather high; currently it is at 62.40%. Regardless of TCRD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCRD's net profit margin of 59.72% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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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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 9.53.

The average volume for Navios Maritime Partners L.P has been 361,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Navios Maritime Partners L.P has a market cap of $964.2 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 1.2%. 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.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.

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.

Terra Nitrogen Company L.P

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Terra Nitrogen Company L.P (NYSE: TNH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. engages in the production and sale of nitrogen fertilizer products. It primarily offers anhydrous ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate solutions. Terra Nitrogen GP Inc. serves as the general partner of the company. Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.87.

The average volume for Terra Nitrogen Company L.P has been 18,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Terra Nitrogen Company L.P has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Terra Nitrogen Company 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • TNH has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. To add to this, TNH has a quick ratio of 2.25, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • TERRA NITROGEN CO -LP has improved earnings per share by 31.7% 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. During the past fiscal year, TERRA NITROGEN CO -LP increased its bottom line by earning $17.06 versus $15.33 in the prior year.
  • The gross profit margin for TERRA NITROGEN CO -LP is currently very high, coming in at 78.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 74.43% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $170.10 million or 23.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TERRA NITROGEN CO -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -31.76%.

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 187.00.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 107,900 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 20.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. 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:
  • 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 59.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $133.89 million to $213.21 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 1.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 47.80% 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 18.12% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $174.66 million or 5.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.98%.
  • AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 23.8% 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 ($2.26 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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