Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: ARI, HGT, SMTP

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."

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.73.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 342,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $766.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0.4% 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 Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, compelling growth in net income 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:
  • ARI's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 79.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.89%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 54.28% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 48.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.90 million to $19.16 million.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC has improved earnings per share by 27.6% 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, APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC reported lower earnings of $1.26 versus $1.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.26).

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

Hugoton Royalty

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.55.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 209,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $366.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 23.1% 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 Hugoton 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:
  • HGT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 74.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HGT 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, HUGOTON 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 95.65% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 26.43% 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, HGT 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 93.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.21 million to $17.85 million.

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

SMTP

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

SMTP (NASDAQ: SMTP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

SMTP, Inc. provides Internet-based services to facilitate email delivery worldwide. It offers services to enable businesses of various scales to outsource the sending of outbound emails. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.93.

The average volume for SMTP has been 13,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. SMTP has a market cap of $31.9 million and is part of the internet industry. Shares are up 328.9% 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 SMTP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance 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:
  • SMTP's revenue growth trails the industry average of 29.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. 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.
  • SMTP 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 23.62, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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, despite 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.
  • The gross profit margin for SMTP INC is currently very high, coming in at 78.33%. Regardless of SMTP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 10.26% trails the industry average.

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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