The 10 Best High-Yield Dividend Stocks for 2015

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With so many different investments options, investors often have a difficult time deciding which direction is the best one for them to take.

Here at TheStreet, we attempt to declutter the plethora of information available and present it to our readers in a way so that they can make wise investment decisions.

When you are looking for a solid income stream and not just an implied return on your money, it is hard to beat dividends. However, according to Dave Peltier Portfolio Manager for Dividend Stock Advisor, "Not all dividends are created equal. It is not always easy to decide which ones are good investments simply by looking at their stock offerings."

According to Peltier, "Being an investor is a little like having a crystal ball. You need to be able to look at the past, present and the future. In general when you're evaluating a dividend-paying stock, the primary thought should be the viability and sustainability of the dividend itself. We look at past performance. One way is to take a look at a company's dividend history. While it's never possible to predict the future from the past, some companies have exhibited a tendency to raise their payouts annually. It's also wise to seek out yields that are trending toward the higher end of the industry and the company's historical range."

Peltier continues, "However, earnings power alone is not the ultimate gauge for dividend stocks. A lot of the same fundamental homework that goes into picking growth stocks will still apply here, but you need to add a layer of fixed income-like analysis. In other words, it's also important to look at the present, which a company's current balance sheet. While a quick glance at the ratings from the major agencies help, we're generally looking for a manageable level of debt and a solid cash position. The clearest danger to a dividend is a lack of cash flow."

Peltier warns, "A dividend stock that stops paying its dividend is of little value to anyone's portfolio. Remember that while more than 75% of the companies in the S&P 500 offer a dividend, the payout remains a luxury, not a necessity. Other bills, namely interest on debt, must be paid before investors can be rewarded with a dividend. When a company has weak cash flow, the dividend is among the first costs to be cut."

Due to the myriad of dividend stocks that an investor can choose from, TheStreet Quant Ratings team has put together a list of 10 dividend stocks that yield over 7% rated most highly by over 32 major data factors. TheStreet Quant Ratings proprietary stock algorithm identified these dividend stocks as being both fundamentally and technically strong with lower potential for risk. Note that these ratings can change at any time. If you would like access to real-time ratings of these stocks, you can access them by subscribing to TheStreet Quant Ratings.

Here are the 10 dividend stocks with over a 7% yield that are the most highly rated by TheStreet Quant Ratings at this time...

#10: New Mountain Finance Corp (NMFC)

Dividend Yield: 9.05%

Company Description: New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: 

"We rate NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP (NMFC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: NMFC Ratings Report

#9: THL Credit Inc (TCRD)

Dividend Yield: 10.17%

Company Description: THL Credit, Inc. is a business development company specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The fund seeks to invest in debt and equity securities of middle market companies.

TheStreet Ratings team rates THL CREDIT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate THL CREDIT INC (TCRD) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. 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 growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: TCRD Ratings Report

#8: Pennantpark Floating Rt Cap (PFLT)

Dividend Yield: 7.61%

Company Description: PennantPark Floating Rate Capital Ltd. is a business development company. It seeks to make secondary direct, debt, equity, and loan investments. The fund seeks to invest through floating rate loans in private or thinly traded or small market-cap, public middle market companies.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PENNANTPARK FLOATING RT CAP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PENNANTPARK FLOATING RT CAP (PFLT) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: PFLT Ratings Report

#7: KKR & Co LP (KKR)

Dividend Yield: 8.04%

Company Description: KKR & Co. L.P. is a private equity and real estate investment firm specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. It specializes in acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, credit special situations, growth equity, mature, mezzanine, distressed, and middle market investments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates KKR & CO LP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate KKR & CO LP (KKR) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: KKR Ratings Report

#6: Hercules Tech Growth Cap Inc (HTGC)

Dividend Yield: 7.88%

Company Description: Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc., is a specialty finance company which provides debt & equity growth capital to technology-related companies at all stages, development from seed & emerging growth to expansion & established stages of development.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC (HTGC) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: HTGC Ratings Report

#5: Apollo Investment Corp (AINV)

Dividend Yield: 9.63%

Company Description: Apollo Investment Corporation is business development company and operates as a closed-end management investment company. The company invests in middle market companies. It provides direct equity capital, mezzanine and senior secured loans, and subordinated debt and loans.

TheStreet Ratings team rates APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP (AINV) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AINV Ratings Report

#4: TCP Capital Corp (TCPC)

Dividend Yield: 8.46%

Company Description: TCP Capital Corp. is a business development company specializing in direct equity and debt investments in middle-market, senior secured loans, junior loans, originated loans, mezzanine, senior debt instruments, bonds, and secondary-market investments. It seeks to invest in the United States.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TCP CAPITAL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TCP CAPITAL CORP (TCPC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: TCPC Ratings Report

#3: Marine Harvest ASA (MHG)

Dividend Yield: 7.46%

Company Description: Marine Harvest ASA, a seafood company, produces and sells farmed salmon products worldwide. It is engaged in the fish farming, processing, and smoking activities.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MARINE HARVEST ASA as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MARINE HARVEST ASA (MHG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: MHG Ratings Report

#2: Compass Diversified Holdings (CODI)

Dividend Yield: 8.32%

Company Description: Compass Diversified Holdings is a private equity firm specializing in acquisitions, buyouts, and middle market investments. It seeks to invest in manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, and business services sectors. The firm prefers to invest in companies based in North America.

TheStreet Ratings team rates COMPASS DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate COMPASS DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS (CODI) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CODI Ratings Report

#1: Manhattan Bridge Capital Inc (LOAN)

Dividend Yield: 9.33%

Company Description: Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc. provides short-term, secured, and non banking loans to real estate investors to fund their acquisition and construction of properties in the New York Metropolitan area.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC (LOAN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LOAN Ratings Report

More from Markets

AMD Rises Above the Competition; Loan Losses Mount for Big Banks -- ICYMI

AMD Rises Above the Competition; Loan Losses Mount for Big Banks -- ICYMI

McKesson Internal Review Clears Senior Management of Wrongdoing on Opioids

McKesson Internal Review Clears Senior Management of Wrongdoing on Opioids

Starbucks Surprises Wall Street With U.S. Sales Up a Paltry 2%

Starbucks Surprises Wall Street With U.S. Sales Up a Paltry 2%

Dow Jumps 238 Points as S&P 500, Nasdaq Also Climb

Dow Jumps 238 Points as S&P 500, Nasdaq Also Climb

Why Nashville, Denver, LA Should Reconsider Bids for Amazon HQ2

Why Nashville, Denver, LA Should Reconsider Bids for Amazon HQ2