Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: MTR, TCAP, TICC

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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

Mesa Royalty Trust holds net overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas properties in the United States. It has interests in properties located in the Hugoton field of Kansas; the San Juan Basin field of New Mexico and Colorado; and the Yellow Creek field of Wyoming. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.00.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 15,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $60.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 51% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Mesa 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 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:
  • MTR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 260.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MTR 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 2.79, 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, MESA ROYALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 274.28% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 36.84% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MTR should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain 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 273.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.65 million to $2.44 million.

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

Triangle Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Triangle Capital Corporation (NYSE: TCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Triangle Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in private equity and mezzanine investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.62.

The average volume for Triangle Capital Corporation has been 278,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Triangle Capital Corporation has a market cap of $737.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Triangle Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 10.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $21.85 million to $24.20 million.
  • 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 79.50%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 97.01% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 10.1% 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, 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 26.4% in earnings ($2.17 versus $2.94).
  • TCAP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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

TICC Capital

Dividend Yield: 12.50%

TICC Capital (NASDAQ: TICC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.50%.

TICC Capital Corp., a business development company, operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The firm invests in both public and private companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.44.

The average volume for TICC Capital has been 578,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. TICC Capital has a market cap of $559.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 11.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 TICC Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the 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 801.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.46 million to $13.14 million.
  • The gross profit margin for TICC CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 74.66%. Regardless of TICC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TICC's net profit margin of 43.88% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • TICC CAPITAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, TICC CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $1.11 versus $1.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.13 versus $1.11).
  • TICC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.98% 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.

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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