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." Stonemor Partners (NYSE: STON) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%. StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of cemeteries in the United States. It operates through Cemetery Operations Southeast, Cemetery Operations Northeast, Cemetery Operations West, and Funeral Homes segments. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Stonemor Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold. The average volume for Stonemor Partners has been 115,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stonemor Partners has a market cap of $483.3 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Stonemor Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. 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.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 119.61% to $1.10 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -73.75%.
- STONEMOR PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 25.0% 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, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.15 versus -$0.16).
- The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Diversified Consumer Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.09 million to -$3.94 million.
- Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.89 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, STON has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.81, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- You can view the full Stonemor Partners Ratings Report.