3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Leading The Pack: BP, STO, MCC

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."

BP

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

BP (NYSE: BP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.21.

The average volume for BP has been 5,644,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. BP has a market cap of $140.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 65.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2,042.00 million to $3,369.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $7,877.00 million or 46.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BP PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.22%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.40, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 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.

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

Statoil ASA

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Statoil ASA, an integrated energy company, is engaged in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum-derived products in Norway and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.21.

The average volume for Statoil ASA has been 1,367,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Statoil ASA has a market cap of $88.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Statoil ASA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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 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 175.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $678.28 million to $1,866.09 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.43, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.12, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 153.19% to $2,739.71 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STATOIL ASA has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.01%.

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

Medley Capital

Dividend Yield: 11.80%

Medley Capital (NYSE: MCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.80%.

Medley Capital Corporation is a business development company. The fund seeks to invest in privately negotiated debt and equity securities of small and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.82.

The average volume for Medley Capital has been 765,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medley Capital has a market cap of $654.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Medley Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins 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:
  • MCC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 61.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP 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, MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.32 versus $1.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.59 versus $1.32).
  • 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 425.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.16 million to $16.59 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 68.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 43.57% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$64.69 million or 41.32% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -89.06%.

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null

More from Markets

Video: There Are Some Big Changes Coming to the PGA Championships in 2019

Video: There Are Some Big Changes Coming to the PGA Championships in 2019

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

CBS-Viacom Battle Comes to a Head; FDA Approves Novartis Migraine Drug --ICMYI

CBS-Viacom Battle Comes to a Head; FDA Approves Novartis Migraine Drug --ICMYI

Listen: Here's What You Need To Know About ETFs Today (Hint: They're on Fire!)

Listen: Here's What You Need To Know About ETFs Today (Hint: They're on Fire!)

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing