What To Buy: Top 4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: HGT, TICC, NTLS, CODI

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."

Hugoton Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.16.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 178,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $325.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hugoton 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 notable return on equity. 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:
  • HGT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 119.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HGT 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.
  • 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 367.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.15 million to $10.05 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. HGT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HGT's net profit margin of 95.01% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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: 11.30%

TICC Capital (NASDAQ: TICC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.30%.

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 5.97.

The average volume for TICC Capital has been 372,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. TICC Capital has a market cap of $547.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TICC Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 8.8%. 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 267.67%.
  • 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.

NTELOS Holdings

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

NTELOS Holdings (NASDAQ: NTLS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.13.

The average volume for NTELOS Holdings has been 304,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. NTELOS Holdings has a market cap of $434.6 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NTELOS Holdings as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NTLS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 118.18% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 57.33% 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, NTLS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $44.65 million or 9.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 26.37%.
  • NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP reported lower earnings of $0.87 versus $1.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.29 versus $0.87).

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

Compass Diversified Holdings Shares of Bene

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Compass Diversified Holdings Shares of Bene (NYSE: CODI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

Compass Diversified Holdings is a public investment firm specializing in acquiring controlling stakes in small to middle market companies. The firm seeks to make middle market and buyout investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.78.

The average volume for Compass Diversified Holdings Shares of Bene has been 113,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Compass Diversified Holdings Shares of Bene has a market cap of $924.9 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Compass Diversified Holdings Shares of Bene as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The strong earnings growth this company has enjoyed -- up -- has apparently played a role in driving up its share price by a solid 27.48%. In addition, the rise in the general market has likely contributed to this stock's strong performance during this past year.Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CODI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • COMPASS DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, COMPASS DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS continued to lose money by earning -$0.05 versus -$0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.61 versus -$0.05).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income increased by 2005.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.49 million to $73.39 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null

More from Markets

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Oil Slumps, Gas Spikes Ahead of Holiday Weekend; Assessing the Chipmakers--ICYMI

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Week Ahead: Wall Street Looks to Jobs Report as North Korea Meeting Less Certain

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%

Dow and S&P 500 Decline, Energy Shares Fall as U.S. Crude Oil Slides 4%