4 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. engages in the distribution and sale of propane, and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 60.72.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 255,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 48.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.14 versus -$0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.60 versus -$0.14).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 60.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $36.37 million to $58.21 million.
  • FGP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 48.93% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 25.90% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 19.60%. Regardless of FGP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FGP's net profit margin of 8.83% compares favorably to the industry average.

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Consolidated Communications

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ: CNSL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services to residential and business customers in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Kansas, and Missouri. The company has a P/E ratio of 116.27.

The average volume for Consolidated Communications has been 169,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Communications has a market cap of $699.6 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Communications as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CNSL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.9%. 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 increased to $51.32 million or 39.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 13.59%.
  • The gross profit margin for CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.40%. Regardless of CNSL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC has not done very well: it is down 10.32% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ: GOOD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans.

The average volume for Gladstone Commercial Corporation has been 40,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Commercial Corporation has a market cap of $224.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 10.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Commercial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GOOD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. 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.
  • 49.50% is the gross profit margin for GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, GOOD's net profit margin of 4.45% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will 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 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $4.78 million or 9.18% 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.

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.

Rhino Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 12.90%

Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.90%.

Rhino Resource Partners LP, together with its subsidiaries, produces, processes, and sells various grades of steam and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.74.

The average volume for Rhino Resource Partners has been 54,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rhino Resource Partners has a market cap of $212.4 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rhino Resource Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RNO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 14.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 26.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has managed its earnings and share float. We anticipate this stability to falter in the coming year and, in turn, the company to deliver lower earnings per share than prior full year. During the past fiscal year, RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's EPS of $1.42 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $1.42. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 43.7% in earnings ($0.80 versus $1.42).
  • 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 greatly underperformed compared to the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income has significantly decreased by 26.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $12.71 million to $9.38 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.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

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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