5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: AINV, SCG, PVR, ETP, TOT

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."

Apollo Investment

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Apollo Investment (NASDAQ: AINV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Apollo Investment Corporation is business development company and operates as a closed-end management investment company. The company invests in middle market companies. It provides direct equity capital, mezzanine and senior secured loans, and subordinated debt and loans. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.44.

The average volume for Apollo Investment has been 1,513,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Investment has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Investment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.8%. 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 APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 71.56%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 81.55% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 125.03% to $92.74 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 125.03%, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 267.67%.
  • APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP's earnings per share declined by 5.7% 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, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.49 versus -$0.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.89 versus $0.49).

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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