Five Monthly Payers Yielding 7.0% to 12.3%

04/18/2012 1:38 pm EST

Focus: INCOME

Harry Domash

Publisher, DividendDetective and Winning Investing

Banks are still paying next to nothing in terms of interest on your savings. Consequently, dividend-paying stocks are getting a hard look from investors seeking steady income.

If you’re in that camp, Business Development Corporations (BDCs) are worth a look. Many are paying dividends equating to 7% to 12% yields (annualized returns on invested capital), and some even pay monthly.

A BDC is a special type of corporation, created by Congress to encourage the flow of private equity to companies that are too large to borrow from banks, but too small to go public. BDCs pay high dividends because they don’t pay federal income taxes if pay out at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders.

More on BDCs

BDCs make mostly short-term, unsecured loans in the $2 million to $50 million range. Also, they frequently take ownership positions (equity interest) in their client companies. Since they must pay out most of their profits to shareholders, BDCs must raise cash to fund expansion by selling more shares or via borrowing.

BDCs went through hard times in 2008 and early 2009 when the economy tumbled. Now, most have recovered, are financially strong, and well positioned to prosper if the economy continues to strengthen.

Monthly Payers

Many income investors prefer to receive monthly dividends, rather than the more common quarterly payouts. Of the 25 or so BDCs, here are five that pay monthly.

Full Circle Capital (FULL): Invests mainly in senior secured loans and, to a lesser extent, unsecured loans and equity securities issued by firms with annual revenues in the $3 million to $75 million range. Its loans typically range between $3 million and $10 million. Pays an estimated 12.3% yield.

Gladstone Capital (GLAD): Offers mostly senior loans in the $3 million to $15 million range to small and medium sized businesses (11.0% yield).

Gladstone Investment (GAIN): Makes debt and equity investments ranging from $3 million to $20 million in small and mid-sized private businesses to facilitate acquisitions, changes in control and recapitalizations. Gladstone Investment makes riskier loans than Gladstone Capital, and may also take direct equity positions in its client companies (8.3% yield).

Main Street Capital (MAIN): Provides $2 million to $15 million of long-term debt and equity capital to companies with revenues in the $10 million to $100 million range to support management buyouts, recapitalizations, and acquisitions (7.0% yield).

Prospect Capital (PSEC): Lends to and invests between $5 million and $50 million in private and micro-cap public businesses (11.5% yield).

The estimated dividend yields that I listed assume that each BDC will continue paying the same amount over the next 12 months. If the economy continues to strengthen, some will increase those payouts.

Dividends, of course, aren’t the whole story. Your total return on any stock is dividends received plus or minus share price changes. Thus, a share price drop could put you in the negative column despite the high dividends. So, do your due diligence. The more you know about your stocks, the better your results.

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