4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: APU, FULL, AB, NRP

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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."

AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

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 27.09.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 249,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 17.5% 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, 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 9.4%. 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.
  • 47.83% 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 4.80%.
  • 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 ($2.45 versus -$0.05).

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

Full Circle Capital Corp BDC

Dividend Yield: 11.50%

Full Circle Capital Corp BDC (NASDAQ: FULL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.50%.

Full Circle Capital Corporation is a business development company and operates as an externally managed non-diversified closed-end management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.12.

The average volume for Full Circle Capital Corp BDC has been 61,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Full Circle Capital Corp BDC has a market cap of $60.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 7.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Full Circle Capital Corp BDC as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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:
  • FULL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.8%. 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 gross profit margin for FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.87%. Regardless of FULL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FULL's net profit margin of 49.15% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP's earnings per share declined by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $0.44 versus $0.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.78 versus $0.44).
  • In its most recent trading session, FULL 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. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$4.21 million or 417.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (NYSE: AB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. provides investment management and related services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.07.

The average volume for AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has been 445,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 27.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AllianceBernstein Holding L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 31.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP has improved earnings per share by 46.1% 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, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.50 versus -$0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.54 versus $0.50).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 43.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $26.70 million to $38.23 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 258.83% to $42.19 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -75.62%.
  • The gross profit margin for ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. AB has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AB's net profit margin of 88.91% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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: 10.20%

Natural Resources Partners L.P (NYSE: NRP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

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 11.19.

The average volume for Natural Resources Partners L.P has been 218,900 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 16.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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, notable return on equity 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:
  • The gross profit margin for NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 93.75%. 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 10.8%. 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.
  • In its most recent trading session, NRP 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. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • 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 12.7% in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.97).

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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