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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold." Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.70%. Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in underwriting insurance products primarily in the United States and Canada. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Old Republic International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold. The average volume for Old Republic International has been 1,738,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Old Republic International has a market cap of $3.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 18.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Old Republic International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- ORI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 541.28% to $209.70 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.58%.
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. 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.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- 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 Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 136.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $55.20 million to -$20.20 million.
- You can view the full Old Republic International Ratings Report.