3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: BKEP, AHGP, 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

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."

Blueknight Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Blueknight Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BKEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Blueknight Energy Partners, L.P. provides integrated terminalling, storage, processing, gathering, and transportation services for companies engaged in the production, distribution, and marketing of crude oil and asphalt products in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 129.83.

The average volume for Blueknight Energy Partners has been 60,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Blueknight Energy Partners has a market cap of $256.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 17.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Blueknight Energy Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 39.23% is the gross profit margin for BLUEKNIGHT ENERGY PRTNRS LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.72% trails the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, BKEP has outperformed against the industry average of 38.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.8%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • BLUEKNIGHT ENERGY PRTNRS 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BLUEKNIGHT ENERGY PRTNRS LP reported lower earnings of $0.15 versus $0.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($0.15 versus $0.15).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 59.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.89 million to $1.58 million.
  • The share price of BLUEKNIGHT ENERGY PRTNRS LP has not done very well: it is down 11.33% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the decline in its share price over the last year, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays compensate for this.

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