3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: NMM, TCP, NMFC

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

Navios Maritime Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

Navios Maritime Partners L.P (NYSE: NMM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. engages in the ownership and operation of dry cargo vessels in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.07.

The average volume for Navios Maritime Partners L.P has been 415,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Navios Maritime Partners L.P has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 46.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Navios Maritime Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NMM's share price has jumped by 43.54%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NMM should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 91.87%. Regardless of NMM's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NMM's net profit margin of 28.17% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 5.74 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.
  • NMM, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 16.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 45.9% 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, NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.64 versus $1.19 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 49.1% in earnings ($0.84 versus $1.64).

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

TC Pipelines

Dividend Yield: 7.30%

TC Pipelines (NASDAQ: TCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.30%.

TC PipeLines, LP transports natural gas to market hubs and consuming markets primarily in the western and midwestern United States, and central Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.44.

The average volume for TC Pipelines has been 120,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. TC Pipelines has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TC Pipelines as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TCP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. 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 TC PIPELINES LP is currently very high, coming in at 77.65%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 43.52% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 260.46% to $155.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TC PIPELINES LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.10%.
  • 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. 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.
  • TC PIPELINES LP's earnings per share declined by 34.1% 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, TC PIPELINES LP increased its bottom line by earning $3.27 versus $3.04 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 36.4% in earnings ($2.08 versus $3.27).

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: 9.10%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.09.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 445,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $672.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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, 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.6%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.45%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 79.39% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 175.55% to $63.21 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 175.55%, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 269.25%.
  • In its most recent trading session, NMFC 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.
  • NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP's earnings per share declined by 25.8% 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, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.20 versus $1.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 30.2% in earnings ($1.54 versus $2.20).

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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