Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 4 Companies: MMLP, NRP, GAIN, RSO

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."

Martin Midstream Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Martin Midstream Partners L.P (NASDAQ: MMLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

Martin Midstream Partners L.P. collects, transports, stores, and markets petroleum products and by-products in the United States Gulf Coast region. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.56.

The average volume for Martin Midstream Partners L.P has been 57,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Martin Midstream Partners L.P has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 35.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Martin Midstream Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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:
  • MMLP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.6%. 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 significantly increased by 70.81% to -$10.25 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.10%.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MMLP's share price has jumped by 37.42%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.33 versus $0.56 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.1% in earnings ($1.24 versus $1.33).

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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