3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: WSR, PNNT, GAIN

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."

Whitestone REIT

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

WhiteStone REIT is a Maryland REIT engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in major metropolitan areas. The company has a P/E ratio of 56.16.

The average volume for Whitestone REIT has been 93,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Whitestone REIT has a market cap of $314.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whitestone REIT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WHITESTONE REIT 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, WHITESTONE REIT increased its bottom line by earning $0.21 versus $0.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.23 versus $0.21).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 149.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.95 million to $2.37 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 52.07% to $5.98 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.83%.

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

Pennant Park Investment Corporation

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

Pennant Park Investment Corporation (NASDAQ: PNNT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

PennantPark Investment Corporation is a publicly listed business development firm specializing in direct and mezzanine investments in middle market companies. It invests in the form of mezzanine debt, senior secured loans, and equity investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.19.

The average volume for Pennant Park Investment Corporation has been 490,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pennant Park Investment Corporation has a market cap of $720.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pennant Park Investment Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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, PENNANTPARK INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PENNANTPARK INVESTMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.36%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 107.39% 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 Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 50.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $26.97 million to $40.68 million.
  • PENNANTPARK INVESTMENT CORP has improved earnings per share by 48.8% 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PENNANTPARK INVESTMENT CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.39 versus $1.21 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 18.3% in earnings ($1.14 versus $1.39).

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

Gladstone Investment Corporation

Dividend Yield: 9.40%

Gladstone Investment Corporation (NASDAQ: GAIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.40%.

Gladstone Investment Corporation is a business development company specializing in buyout, recapitalization, and changes in control investments.

The average volume for Gladstone Investment Corporation has been 202,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Investment Corporation has a market cap of $202.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Investment Corporation as a buy.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. 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.
  • GLADSTONE INVESTMENT CORP/DE 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. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GLADSTONE INVESTMENT CORP/DE swung to a loss, reporting -$0.06 versus $0.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.72 versus -$0.06).
  • GAIN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 94.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $15.95 million to $0.94 million.

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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