5 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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

KKR Financial Holdings

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

KKR Financial Holdings LLC, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company with expertise in a range of asset classes. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.96. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate KKR Financial Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for KKR Financial Holdings has been 1,192,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. KKR Financial Holdings has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates KKR Financial Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • KFN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 77.00%. Regardless of KFN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KFN's net profit margin of 45.15% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $48.92 million or 19.30% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 19.30%, KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -111.82%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.45 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.

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