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

Entergy

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

Entergy (NYSE: ETR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. The company generates electricity through various sources, such as gas/oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro power. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.10. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Entergy a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Entergy has been 1,105,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Entergy has a market cap of $11.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 88.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $160.03 million to $301.85 million.
  • ENTERGY CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, ENTERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $4.75 versus $7.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.83 versus $4.75).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.42 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 0.31, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $720.50 million or 27.88% 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.

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