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What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks VLY, DRI, LINE

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."

Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Valley National Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, and trust and investment services. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.88.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1,988,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valley National Bancorp has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valley National Bancorp 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The gross profit margin for VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 79.91%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, VLY's net profit margin of 17.40% significantly trails the industry average.
  • VLY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 8.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 13.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $33.92 million to $29.52 million.
  • VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP's earnings per share declined by 11.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP reported lower earnings of $0.67 versus $0.74 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.9% in earnings ($0.57 versus $0.67).

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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