4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: SLRC, NRP, BPT, NMFC

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."

Solar Capital

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

Solar Capital (NASDAQ: SLRC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

Solar Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.58.

The average volume for Solar Capital has been 309,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Capital has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year 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 revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.9%. 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 SOLAR CAPITAL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 65.80%. Regardless of SLRC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SLRC's net profit margin of 77.67% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SOLAR CAPITAL LTD's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, SLRC 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.
  • SOLAR CAPITAL LTD's earnings per share declined by 35.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOLAR CAPITAL LTD increased its bottom line by earning $3.12 versus $1.69 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 24.4% in earnings ($2.36 versus $3.12).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Natural Resources Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

Natural Resources Partners L.P (NYSE: NRP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

Natural Resource Partners L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership, management, and leasing of mineral properties in the United States. It owns coal reserves in Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western United States, as well as lignite reserves in the Gulf Coast region. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.32.

The average volume for Natural Resources Partners L.P has been 234,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Natural Resources Partners L.P has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 21.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Natural Resources Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins 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 NATURAL RESOURCE 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 54.88% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 8.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $0.50 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.2% in earnings ($1.73 versus $1.97).
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, NRP's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.49, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty (NYSE: BPT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust operates as a grantor trust in the United States. The company holds overriding royalty interests constituting a non-operational interest in minerals in the Prudhoe Bay oil field located on the North Slope in Alaska. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.70.

The average volume for BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty has been 112,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 35.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty 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 and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BPT 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.65, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, BP PRUDHOE BAY ROYALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for BP PRUDHOE BAY ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. BPT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BPT's net profit margin of 99.66% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, BPT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 17.60% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

New Mountain Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.93.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 419,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $473.3 million and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are up 3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New Mountain Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 33.1%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$15.76 million or 47.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -335.21%.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 58.10%. Regardless of NMFC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NMFC's net profit margin of 97.01% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 3.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $23.67 million to $24.56 million.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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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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