4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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."

Thomson Reuters Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Thomson Reuters Corporation (NYSE: TRI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Thomson Reuters Corporation provides intelligent information for businesses and professionals worldwide. It sells electronic content and services to professionals, primarily on a subscription basis. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.84. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Thomson Reuters Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Thomson Reuters Corporation has been 979,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Thomson Reuters Corporation has a market cap of $26.4 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Thomson Reuters Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • THOMSON-REUTERS CORP 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. During the past fiscal year, THOMSON-REUTERS CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $2.49 versus -$1.70 in the prior year.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that TRI's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.63, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, THOMSON-REUTERS CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for THOMSON-REUTERS CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 10.94% trails that of the industry average.

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Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Linn Energy a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 1,916,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $8.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Linn Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LINE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 377.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 1.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$189.62 million to -$187.50 million.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC has improved earnings per share by 23.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LINN ENERGY LLC swung to a loss, reporting -$1.86 versus $2.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.50 versus -$1.86).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.36 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.45, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LINN ENERGY LLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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PVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

PVR Partners (NYSE: PVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

PVR Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering and processing of natural gas; and management of coal and natural resource properties in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Eastern Midstream, Midcontinent Midstream, and Coal and Natural Resource Management. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate PVR Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for PVR Partners has been 600,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. PVR Partners has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PVR Partners as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. 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:
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PVR PARTNERS LP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PVR PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.70 versus -$1.60).
  • The share price of PVR PARTNERS LP has not done very well: it is down 7.79% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, PVR maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.74, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PVR PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Vale

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Vale (NYSE: VALE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.03. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Vale has been 16,052,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vale has a market cap of $89.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 19% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.22 is sturdy.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $3,075.47 million or 58.15% 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.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 164.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $4,363.78 million to -$2,822.29 million.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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