Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: DDC, TCPC, SJI

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: 9.80%

Dominion Diamond (NYSE: DDC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

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 23.64.

The average volume for Dominion Diamond has been 361,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dominion Diamond has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 9.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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 notable return on equity. We feel its 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 17.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. 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.
  • 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 1.83, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, DDC's share price has jumped by 34.71%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DOMINION DIAMOND CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

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