NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're looking for stocks to buy in a low interest rate environment as the stock market moves sideways and also love dividends, we're here to help. 

Here are 8 mid-cap stocks with A+ ratings, which also offer high dividend payments from TheStreet Quant Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary quant-based stock-rating tool.

The Street Quant Ratings rates every one of these stocks an A+, as well as a four-star rating on income, by measuring the historical price movement of the stock. These stocks were chosen from 4,300 different types of equities we rate.

TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 16.56% return in 2014, beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a buy yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

Check out which stocks made the list. And when you're done, be sure to read about which safe, A+ rated stocks you should buy now. Year-to-date returns are based on October 7, 2015 closing prices.

UNB Chart UNB data by YCharts
9. Union Bankshares, Inc. (UNB - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $116.3 million
Year-to-date return: 9.81%

Union Bankshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Union Bank that provides retail, commercial, and municipal banking services in northern Vermont and northwestern New Hampshire.

TheStreet Ratings team rates UNION BANKSHARES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate UNION BANKSHARES INC (UNB) 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • UNB's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, UNION BANKSHARES INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • UNION BANKSHARES INC has improved earnings per share by 7.0% 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, UNION BANKSHARES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.73 versus $1.60 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 5.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1.92 million to $2.02 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UNB

MSEX Chart MSEX data by YCharts
8. Middlesex Water Company (MSEX - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $404.3 million
Year-to-date return: 8.46%

Middlesex Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated and unregulated water, and wastewater utility services. The company operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MIDDLESEX WATER CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate MIDDLESEX WATER CO (MSEX) 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 revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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 analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MSEX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MIDDLESEX WATER CO has improved earnings per share by 6.9% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MIDDLESEX WATER CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.14 versus $1.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.20 versus $1.14).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 60.62% to $8.75 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MIDDLESEX WATER CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.04%.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 7.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $4.73 million to $5.09 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSEX

HFWA Chart HFWA data by YCharts
7. Heritage Financial Corporation (HFWA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $556.3 million
Year-to-date return: 5.81%

Heritage Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various financial services to small businesses and general public.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP (HFWA) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.79 versus $0.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.22 versus $0.79).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 110.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.15 million to $8.73 million.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1264.31% to $18.20 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 1264.31%, HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 2845.02%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: HFWA

FFG Chart FFG data by YCharts
6. FBL Financial Group, Inc. (FFG - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $1.5 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.7%

FBL Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiary, Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, sells individual life insurance and annuity products principally under the consumer brand name, Farm Bureau Financial Services. The company operates through Annuity and Life Insurance Product segments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates FBL FINANCIAL GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate FBL FINANCIAL GROUP INC (FFG) 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • FFG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.08 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 38.64% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, FFG 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 Insurance industry. The net income increased by 13.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $28.64 million to $32.37 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FBL FINANCIAL GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FFG

CALM Chart CALM data by YCharts
5. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (CALM - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $2.8 billion
Year-to-date return: 47.94%

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. produces, grades, packages, markets, and distributes shell eggs. It offers specialty shell eggs, such as nutritionally enhanced, cage free, organic, and brown eggs under the Egg-Land's Best, Land O' Lake, Farmhouse, and 4-Grain brand names, as well as under private labels.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CAL-MAINE FOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CAL-MAINE FOODS INC (CALM) 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • CALM's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • CALM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, CALM has a quick ratio of 2.17, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, CAL-MAINE FOODS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 44.95% is the gross profit margin for CAL-MAINE FOODS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.45% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CALM

IDA Chart IDA data by YCharts
4. IDACORP, Inc. (IDA - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.3 billion
Year-to-date return: -2.25%

IDACORP, Inc., through its subsidiary, Idaho Power Company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, purchase, and sale of electric energy in the United States.

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

We rate IDACORP INC (IDA) 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • IDA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 35.77% is the gross profit margin for IDACORP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 19.64% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 48.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $44.54 million to $66.08 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.89, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: IDA

CBRL Chart CBRL data by YCharts
3. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBRL - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $3.6 billion
Year-to-date return: 6.18%

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. develops and operates the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store concept in the United States. The company's Cracker Barrel stores consist of a restaurant with a gift shop. Its restaurants provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR (CBRL) 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • CBRL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 43.96% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CBRL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR has improved earnings per share by 20.9% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR increased its bottom line by earning $6.82 versus $5.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.25 versus $6.82).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 21.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $39.19 million to $47.40 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, CRACKER BARREL OLD CTRY STOR's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CBRL

FAF Chart FAF data by YCharts
2. First American Financial Corporation (FAF - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.3 billion
Year-to-date return: 17.94%

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments.

TheStreet Ratings team rates FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP (FAF) 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although FAF's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 80.85% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 44.17% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FIRST AMERICAN FINANCIAL CP increased its bottom line by earning $2.15 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.69 versus $2.15).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 84.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.59 million to $93.35 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FAF

PACW Chart PACW data by YCharts
1. PacWest Bancorp (PACW - Get Report)

Rating: Buy, A+
Market Cap: $4.5 billion
Year-to-date return: -2.27%

PacWest Bancorp operates as the holding company for Pacific Western Bank that provides commercial banking products and services to individuals, professionals, and small to mid-sized businesses in the United States. It accepts demand, money market, and time deposits.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PACWEST BANCORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate PACWEST BANCORP (PACW) 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 revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PACWEST BANCORP 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PACWEST BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $1.08 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.90 versus $1.97).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 706.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.56 million to $85.08 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PACWEST BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 90.58%. Regardless of PACW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PACW's net profit margin of 35.73% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 552.48% to $152.51 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 552.48%, PACWEST BANCORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 2845.02%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PACW