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 or Stephanie Link.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 and 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.40%. Windstream Corporation provides communications and technology solutions in the United States. The company offers managed services and cloud computing services to businesses, as well as broadband, voice, and video services to consumers primarily in rural markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.98.The average volume for Windstream has been 7,295,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Windstream has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 2.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.TheStreet Ratings rates Windstream as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.Highlights from the ratings report include:
- 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, WINDSTREAM CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for WINDSTREAM CORP is rather high; currently it is at 53.34%. Regardless of WIN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.48% trails the industry average.
- WIN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has decreased by 13.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $60.40 million to $52.30 million.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 8.79 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.32, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
- You can view the full Windstream Ratings Report.
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