Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: ARI, DMLP, 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 which could 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."

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.21.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 433,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $760.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ARI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.06%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 83.08% 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 greatly outperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 47.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $11.93 million to $17.58 million.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC has improved earnings per share by 27.3% 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 COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC reported lower earnings of $1.26 versus $1.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.60 versus $1.26).

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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