Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: CPLP, KCAP, 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."

Capital Product Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.60%

Capital Product Partners (NASDAQ: CPLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.60%.

Capital Product Partners L.P., a shipping company, provides marine transportation services in Greece. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.90.

The average volume for Capital Product Partners has been 777,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Capital Product Partners has a market cap of $781.3 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 13.9% 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 Capital Product Partners 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, 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.65, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.65, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 65.74%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.39% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 108.04% to $36.92 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.53%.
  • CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS LP 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, CAPITAL PRODUCT PARTNERS LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.99 versus -$0.45 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 69.7% in earnings ($0.30 versus $0.99).

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

KCAP Financial

Dividend Yield: 13.30%

KCAP Financial (NASDAQ: KCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.30%.

KCAP Financial, Inc. is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in mid market, buyouts, and mezzanine investments. It focuses on mature and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.42.

The average volume for KCAP Financial has been 310,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. KCAP Financial has a market cap of $275.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 5.5% 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 KCAP Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income 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 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. 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 KCAP FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 82.71%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 92.70% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 141.63% to $6.02 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, KCAP FINANCIAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -227.20%.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 43.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8.53 million to $12.25 million.
  • KCAP FINANCIAL INC has improved earnings per share by 36.0% 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, KCAP FINANCIAL INC reported lower earnings of $0.53 versus $0.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.97 versus $0.53).

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: 9.40%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.40%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.08.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 455,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $840.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.6% 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 New Mountain Finance 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, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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 115.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.99 million to $23.66 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 58.88%. Regardless of NMFC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NMFC's net profit margin of 70.19% 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, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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.

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

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers