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3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: EDR, ERF, NRF

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 which could 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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Education Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Education Realty (NYSE: EDR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Education Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, acquires, owns, and manages student housing communities located near university campuses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 97.82.

The average volume for Education Realty has been 1,523,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Education Realty has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 22.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Education Realty 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 also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.05 versus -$0.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.16 versus $0.05).
  • The gross profit margin for EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC is rather low; currently it is at 15.31%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.10% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $17.18 million or 13.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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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