Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: TAL, LOAN, GBDC

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."

TAL International Group

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

TAL International Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, leases intermodal transportation equipment and provides maritime container management services worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.01.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 195,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 18.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates TAL International Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TAL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.4%. 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 increased to $91.25 million or 22.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 22.44%.
  • The gross profit margin for TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 85.37%. Regardless of TAL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAL's net profit margin of 15.53% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, TAL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 19.44% from its price level of one year ago. 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.

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Manhattan Bridge Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Manhattan Bridge Capital (NASDAQ: LOAN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc., a real estate finance company, originates, services, and manages a portfolio of first mortgage loans in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.03.

The average volume for Manhattan Bridge Capital has been 56,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Manhattan Bridge Capital has a market cap of $25.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Manhattan Bridge Capital as a buy. 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 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 49.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 60.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 39.28% 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, LOAN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.29 versus $0.15 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income increased by 128.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.21 million to $0.48 million.

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Golub Capital BDC

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Golub Capital BDC (NASDAQ: GBDC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Golub Capital BDC, Inc. is a business development company and operates as an externally managed closed-end non-diversified management investment company. It invests in debt and minority equity investments in middle-market companies that are, in most cases, sponsored by private equity investors. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.30.

The average volume for Golub Capital BDC has been 170,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Golub Capital BDC has a market cap of $857.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Golub Capital BDC as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GBDC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 26.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $14.09 million to $17.86 million.
  • The gross profit margin for GOLUB CAPITAL BDC INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.47%. Regardless of GBDC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GBDC's net profit margin of 62.75% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 85.15% to -$9.49 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 85.15%, GOLUB CAPITAL BDC INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 191.30%.
  • GOLUB CAPITAL BDC INC has improved earnings per share by 18.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOLUB CAPITAL BDC INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.44 versus $1.36 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 13.9% in earnings ($1.24 versus $1.44).

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