3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: TCAP, TCPC, 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."

Triangle Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Triangle Capital Corporation (NYSE: TCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Triangle Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in private equity and mezzanine investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.04.

The average volume for Triangle Capital Corporation has been 252,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Triangle Capital Corporation has a market cap of $760.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Triangle Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 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, TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 79.01%. Regardless of TCAP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCAP's net profit margin of 52.00% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP's earnings per share declined by 32.8% 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, TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.94 versus $2.23 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.5% in earnings ($2.16 versus $2.94).
  • The share price of TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP has not done very well: it is down 6.36% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.

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

TCP Capital

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

TCP Capital (NASDAQ: TCPC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

TCP Capital Corp. is a business development company specializing in direct equity and debt investments in middle-market, senior secured loans, junior loans, originated loans, mezzanine, senior debt instruments, bonds, and secondary-market investments. It seeks to invest in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.73.

The average volume for TCP Capital has been 463,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. TCP Capital has a market cap of $619.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TCP Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year 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 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 34.4%. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 40.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $13.16 million to $18.45 million.
  • The gross profit margin for TCP CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 82.14%. Regardless of TCPC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCPC's net profit margin of 81.38% 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. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TCP CAPITAL CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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. 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.

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: 9.10%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.31.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 558,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $773.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 2.6%. 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.
  • In its most recent trading session, NMFC has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 22.6% in earnings ($1.40 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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