3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: KCAP, TCRD, GSJK

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."

KCAP Financial

Dividend Yield: 12.70%

KCAP Financial (NASDAQ: KCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.70%.

KCAP Financial, Inc. is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in mid market, buyouts, and mezzanine investments. It focuses on mature and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.89.

The average volume for KCAP Financial has been 217,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. KCAP Financial has a market cap of $263.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates KCAP Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 15.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.1%. 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.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, KCAP FINANCIAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • KCAP FINANCIAL INC 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, KCAP FINANCIAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.91 versus $0.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($0.91 versus $0.91).
  • The gross profit margin for KCAP FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 82.83%. Regardless of KCAP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KCAP's net profit margin of -0.73% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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

THL Credit

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

THL Credit, Inc. is a business development company specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The fund seeks to invest in debt and equity securities of middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.51.

The average volume for THL Credit has been 198,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. THL Credit has a market cap of $516.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 7.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates THL Credit 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, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 15.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 33.9%. 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 THL CREDIT INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.02%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 40.69% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 25.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.17 million to $7.76 million.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, THL CREDIT INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to 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.

Compressco Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Compressco Partners (NASDAQ: GSJK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Compressco Partners, L.P. provides compression-based production enhancement services for natural gas and oil exploration and production companies. Its production enhancement services are used in both conventional wellhead compression applications and unconventional compression applications. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.45.

The average volume for Compressco Partners has been 10,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Compressco Partners has a market cap of $199.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Compressco Partners 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, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. 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.
  • GSJK's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.14 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.41, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $9.58 million or 17.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COMPRESSCO PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -70.99%.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • 46.33% is the gross profit margin for COMPRESSCO PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of GSJK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GSJK's net profit margin of 14.02% compares favorably to the industry average.

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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