Buy These Top 5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Today: SBR, ARI, TICC, HTGC, EXLP

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

Sabine Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

Sabine Royalty (NYSE: SBR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

Sabine Royalty Trust holds royalty and mineral interests in various oil and gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.36.

The average volume for Sabine Royalty has been 14,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sabine Royalty has a market cap of $754.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 29.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sabine Royalty 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, increase in net income, expanding profit margins 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 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 39.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SBR 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 5.60, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 41.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $11.92 million to $16.83 million.
  • The gross profit margin for SABINE ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. SBR has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SBR's net profit margin of 97.59% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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.

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

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. operates as a commercial real estate finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.92.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 195,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $599.7 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 31.1%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 77.54%. Regardless of ARI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ARI's net profit margin of 65.56% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 5.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $12.21 million to $12.90 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, ARI 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.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC's earnings per share declined by 44.2% 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, APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.68 versus $1.34 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 13.4% in earnings ($1.46 versus $1.68).

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

TICC Capital

Dividend Yield: 11.00%

TICC Capital (NASDAQ: TICC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.00%.

TICC Capital Corp., a business development company, operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The firm invests in both public and private companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.15.

The average volume for TICC Capital has been 369,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. TICC Capital has a market cap of $563.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TICC Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • TICC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 76.0%. 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 TICC CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 62.72%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 85.93% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to -$34.57 million or 9.09% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 9.09%, TICC CAPITAL CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 273.40%.
  • 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.
  • TICC CAPITAL CORP's earnings per share declined by 41.4% 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, TICC CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.77 versus $0.44 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 40.7% in earnings ($1.05 versus $1.77).

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

Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE: HTGC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. is a private equity, venture capital, and venture debt firm specializing in providing debt and equity to privately held venture capital and private equity backed companies and select publicly-traded companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.76.

The average volume for Hercules Technology Growth Capital has been 467,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hercules Technology Growth Capital has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 50.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hercules Technology Growth Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • HTGC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 71.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 555.55% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 60.77% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HTGC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 679.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.75 million to $36.98 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 313.98% to $98.25 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 273.40%.

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

Exterran Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Exterran Partners L.P (NASDAQ: EXLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Exterran Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides natural gas contract operations services to customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.33.

The average volume for Exterran Partners L.P has been 99,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Exterran Partners L.P has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 31.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exterran Partners L.P 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, 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:
  • EXLP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.6%. 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 $49.07 million or 47.38% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 31.09%.
  • 40.91% is the gross profit margin for EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.66% trails the industry average.
  • EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined 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, EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.14 versus $0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.30 versus $0.14).
  • EXLP's share price has surged by 26.34% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp 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 other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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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