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3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: WRE, MEMP, ARCC

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."

Washington REIT

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Washington REIT (NYSE: WRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the ownership, operation, and development of real properties. The firm invests in real estate markets of the greater Washington D.C. metro region.

The average volume for Washington REIT has been 336,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Washington REIT has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Washington REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • WASHINGTON REIT reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WASHINGTON REIT reported lower earnings of $0.00 versus $0.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an increase in earnings to $1.65 from $0.00.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, WASHINGTON REIT's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for WASHINGTON REIT is rather low; currently it is at 21.78%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.49% significantly trails the industry average.

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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