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."

Fidus Investment

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Fidus Investment (NASDAQ: FDUS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Fidus Investment Corporation operates as an externally managed, closed-end, and non-diversified management investment company. The company provides customized debt and equity financing solutions to lower middle-market companies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.39.

The average volume for Fidus Investment has been 81,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Fidus Investment has a market cap of $224.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 24.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Fidus Investment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FDUS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. 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 FIDUS INVESTMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 69.14%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 32.39% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 118.79% to $4.90 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FIDUS INVESTMENT CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -89.42%.
  • FIDUS INVESTMENT CORP 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. 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, FIDUS INVESTMENT CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.01 versus $1.91 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 19.9% in earnings ($1.61 versus $2.01).
  • The share price of FIDUS INVESTMENT CORP has not done very well: it is down 12.14% 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.

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Main Street Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE: MAIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

Main Street Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in long- term equity, equity related, and debt investments in small and lower middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.40.

The average volume for Main Street Capital Corporation has been 212,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Main Street Capital Corporation has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Main Street Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 25.4%. 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 exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 24.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $24.00 million to $29.95 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to -$119.72 million or 8.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -89.42%.
  • The gross profit margin for MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 83.30%. Regardless of MAIN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MAIN's net profit margin of 85.87% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • In its most recent trading session, MAIN 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.

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Dominion Resources Black Warrior

Dividend Yield: 12.40%

Dominion Resources Black Warrior (NYSE: DOM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.40%.

Dominion Resources Black Warrior Trust operates as a grantor trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.09.

The average volume for Dominion Resources Black Warrior has been 124,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dominion Resources Black Warrior has a market cap of $49.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Dominion Resources Black Warrior 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, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 40.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • DOM 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.
  • 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, DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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.
  • DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR increased its bottom line by earning $0.70 versus $0.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.52 versus $0.70).

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