4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: CMLP, NMM, GBDC, MCC

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."

Crestwood Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Crestwood Midstream Partners (NYSE: CMLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

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 92.55.

The average volume for Crestwood Midstream Partners has been 199,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Crestwood Midstream Partners has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 22.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Crestwood Midstream Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 6.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.8%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 53.63% to $34.03 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -86.32%.
  • The gross profit margin for CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 52.62%. 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 12.37% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • CMLP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90 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 0.92 is weak.
  • 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 ($0.46 versus $0.37).

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

If you liked this article you might like

How Investors Can Generate Yields from MLPs

Trade-Ideas: Crestwood Midstream Partners (CMLP) Is Today's Weak On High Relative Volume Stock

Crestwood Midstream Partners (CMLP) Is Strong On High Volume Today

Today's Weak On High Volume Stock: Crestwood Midstream Partners (CMLP)

What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks MUX, CMLP, KRO