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."

Regency Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Regency Energy Partners LP engages in gathering, treating, processing, compressing, and transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company operates in Gathering and Processing, Natural Gas Transportation, NGL Services, and Contract Services segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 200.08.

The average volume for Regency Energy Partners has been 565,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Regency Energy Partners has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 21.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $71.08 million or 44.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 20.25%.
  • RGP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 169.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $13.52 million to -$9.35 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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MFA Financial

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The company has a P/E ratio of 11.40.

The average volume for MFA Financial has been 3,556,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 17% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MFA's share price has jumped by 30.52%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • MFA's revenue growth trails the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for MFA FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.70%. Regardless of MFA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MFA's net profit margin of 54.61% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MFA FINANCIAL INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $77.79 million or 12.92% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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Lockheed Martin Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.80%

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.80%.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, a security and aerospace company, engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products for defense, civil, and commercial applications in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.37.

The average volume for Lockheed Martin Corporation has been 2,675,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lockheed Martin Corporation has a market cap of $30.6 billion and is part of the aerospace/defense industry. Shares are up 3.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lockheed Martin Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry and the overall market, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 161.74 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, LMT maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.75, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Aerospace & Defense industry average. The net income has decreased by 16.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $683.00 million to $569.00 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.

Two Harbors Investment

Dividend Yield: 10.60%

Two Harbors Investment (NYSE: TWO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.60%.

Two Harbors Investment Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on investing in, financing, and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, and other financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.27.

The average volume for Two Harbors Investment has been 7,540,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Two Harbors Investment has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Two Harbors Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TWO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 255.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • TWO HARBORS INVESTMENT 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, TWO HARBORS INVESTMENT CORP reported lower earnings of $1.11 versus $1.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.27 versus $1.11).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, TWO HARBORS INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.14 million or 99.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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.

Memorial Production Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Memorial Production Partners (NASDAQ: MEMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

Memorial Production Partners LP, through its subsidiary, Memorial Production Operating LLC, engages in the acquisition, development, exploitation, and production of oil and natural gas properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 2048.00.

The average volume for Memorial Production Partners has been 519,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Memorial Production Partners has a market cap of $592.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Memorial Production Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its price level of one year ago, MEMP is up 6.23% to its most recent closing price of 19.76. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals should not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The gross profit margin for MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 61.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.19% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • MEMP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, MEMP has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.63, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 74.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $117.77 million to $29.81 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.

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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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