3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: DDC, SUNS, CCLP

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

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."

Dominion Diamond

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Dominion Diamond (NYSE: DDC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Dominion Diamond Corporation engages in the mining and marketing of rough diamonds. It operates through Diavik Diamond Mine and Ekati Diamond Mine segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.04.

The average volume for Dominion Diamond has been 373,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dominion Diamond has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 7.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Dominion Diamond 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, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and increase in net income. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 18.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • DDC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, DDC has a quick ratio of 2.14, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 88.88% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 56.55% 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, DDC 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 Metals & Mining industry. The net income increased by 93.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$7.80 million to -$0.55 million.

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Solar Senior Capital

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ: SUNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Solar Senior Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged, middle-market companies in the United States. The fund invests in the form of senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.71.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 33,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $183.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Senior Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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:
  • SUNS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.6%. 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 SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 79.92%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 67.92% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD's earnings per share declined by 28.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.02 versus $1.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.39 versus $1.02).
  • In its most recent trading session, SUNS 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. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$123.12 million or 354.07% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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CSI Compressco

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

CSI Compressco (NASDAQ: CCLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

CSI Compressco LP provides compression services and equipment for natural gas and oil production, gathering, transportation, processing, and storage applications in the United States, Latin America, Canada, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 46.30.

The average volume for CSI Compressco has been 168,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. CSI Compressco has a market cap of $721.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 65.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates CSI Compressco as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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:
  • CCLP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 284.7%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 118.69% to $13.48 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CSI COMPRESSCO LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.21%.
  • 36.84% is the gross profit margin for CSI COMPRESSCO LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of CCLP'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 3.49% trails the industry average.
  • CCLP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.80 is weak.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Energy Equipment & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 31.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $6.35 million to $4.36 million.

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