What To Buy: Top 3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: TAXI, CORR, HRZN

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."

Medallion Financial

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Medallion Financial (NASDAQ: TAXI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Medallion Financial Corp., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company in the United States. The company is engaged in originating, acquiring, and servicing loans that finance taxicab medallions and various types of commercial businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.11.

The average volume for Medallion Financial has been 183,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medallion Financial has a market cap of $282.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Medallion Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.7%. 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 gross profit margin for MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 64.70%. Regardless of TAXI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAXI's net profit margin of 58.13% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 4.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6.40 million to $6.69 million.
  • Looking at the price performance of TAXI's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 31.17%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp decline over the past year may have been what was needed in order to bring its value into alignment with its fundamentals and others in its industry.
  • MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP's earnings per share declined by 6.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP reported lower earnings of $1.16 versus $1.21 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.7% in earnings ($1.14 versus $1.16).

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

CorEnergy Infrastructure

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

CorEnergy Infrastructure (NYSE: CORR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust, Inc. is a trust launched and managed by Corridor InfraTrust Management, LLC. The trust primarily owns midstream and downstream U.S. energy infrastructure assets subject to long-term triple net participating leases with energy companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.40.

The average volume for CorEnergy Infrastructure has been 100,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. CorEnergy Infrastructure has a market cap of $231.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1% 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 CorEnergy Infrastructure as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 35.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 330.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.44 million to $1.89 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 388.08% to $5.44 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CORENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE TR has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.53%.

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

Horizon Technology Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Horizon Technology Finance (NASDAQ: HRZN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Horizon Technology Finance Corporation, a specialty finance company, lends to and invests in development-stage companies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.60.

The average volume for Horizon Technology Finance has been 36,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Horizon Technology Finance has a market cap of $137.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 0.3% 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 Horizon Technology Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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 Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 112.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.15 million to $2.44 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HORIZON TECHNOLOGY FINANCE is rather high; currently it is at 64.35%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.99% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 96.68% to $7.42 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HORIZON TECHNOLOGY FINANCE has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -193.96%.
  • HORIZON TECHNOLOGY FINANCE 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, HORIZON TECHNOLOGY FINANCE reported lower earnings of $0.37 versus $0.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.11 versus $0.37).
  • HRZN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.0%. 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.

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