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4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ACRE, RNO, RAS, GSJK

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."

Ares Commercial Real Estate

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE: ACRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation, a specialty finance company, operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It originates, invests in, and manages middle-market commercial real estate (CRE) loans and other commercial real estate investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.68.

The average volume for Ares Commercial Real Estate has been 263,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ares Commercial Real Estate has a market cap of $376.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ares Commercial Real Estate as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ACRE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 697.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ARES COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.86 versus $0.10).
  • Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ARES COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • ACRE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.76% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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