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5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: SFL, RNO, VGR, HRZN, PGH

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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Ship Finance International Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.40.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 506,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 59.98%. Regardless of SFL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFL's net profit margin of 19.77% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SFL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $1.61 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 53.1% in earnings ($1.06 versus $2.26).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, SFL has a quick ratio of 0.50, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

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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