3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: GAIN, SJT, 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."

Gladstone Investment Corporation

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Gladstone Investment Corporation (NASDAQ: GAIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

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 205,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Investment Corporation has a market cap of $204.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 5.2%. 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.

San Juan Basin Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

San Juan Basin Royalty (NYSE: SJT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

San Juan Basin Royalty Trust operates as an express trust. The company has a 75% net overriding royalty interest carved out of Burlington's oil and gas leasehold interests (the underlying properties) in properties located in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.61.

The average volume for San Juan Basin Royalty has been 85,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. San Juan Basin Royalty has a market cap of $876.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates San Juan Basin Royalty as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. 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:
  • SJT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 295.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SJT 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.84, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SAN JUAN BASIN ROYALTY TR's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • 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 314.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.40 million to $14.09 million.

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

New Mountain Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.38.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 477,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $736.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New Mountain Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.2%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 63.71%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 77.23% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Capital Markets industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 2.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $24.56 million to $23.88 million.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, NMFC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.34% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP's earnings per share declined by 16.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP reported lower earnings of $1.81 versus $2.20 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 23.2% in earnings ($1.39 versus $1.81).

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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