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."

ARMOUR Residential REIT

Dividend Yield: 13.00%

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.00%.

ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. is a real estate investment trust launched and managed by ARMOUR Residential Management LLC. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.58.

The average volume for ARMOUR Residential REIT has been 9,122,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. ARMOUR Residential REIT has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates ARMOUR Residential REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ARR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 215.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC has improved earnings per share by 37.0% 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.97 versus $0.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.7% in earnings ($0.90 versus $0.97).
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ARR has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.85% from its price level of one year ago. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

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Washington REIT

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Washington REIT (NYSE: WRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the ownership, operation, and development of real properties. The firm invests in real estate markets of the greater Washington D.C. metro region. The company has a P/E ratio of 115.72.

The average volume for Washington REIT has been 556,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Washington REIT has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Washington REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • WASHINGTON REIT reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 two years. During the past fiscal year, WASHINGTON REIT turned its bottom line around by earning $0.27 versus -$0.06 in the prior year.
  • WRE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $38.34 million or 21.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, WASHINGTON REIT's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 38.81%.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 90.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $30.38 million to $2.94 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, WRE has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.

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Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NYSE: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Vanguard Natural Resources has been 539,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vanguard Natural Resources has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vanguard Natural Resources as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VNR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 404.3%. 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.
  • VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES swung to a loss, reporting -$2.76 versus $2.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.41 versus -$2.76).
  • In its most recent trading session, VNR has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES'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 $45.33 million or 4.00% 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.

Royal Bank Of Canada

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE: RY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Royal Bank of Canada provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor and treasury, and capital markets services worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.84.

The average volume for Royal Bank Of Canada has been 533,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Bank Of Canada has a market cap of $87.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Bank Of Canada as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 11.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,830.00 million to $2,045.00 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, RY has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$3,397.00 million or 376.62% 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.

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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