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."

KKR Financial Holdings

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

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 5.67.

The average volume for KKR Financial Holdings has been 1,196,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. KKR Financial Holdings has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 increase in stock price during the past year. 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 7.2%. 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.
  • 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. 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 -111.93%.
  • 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.

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.

Verizon Communications

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 162.94.

The average volume for Verizon Communications has been 14,192,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Verizon Communications has a market cap of $146.5 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 17.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications 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 deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VZ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. 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 VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, VZ's share price has jumped by 35.12%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $6,728.00 million or 18.62% 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.

Redwood

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Redwood (NYSE: RWT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Redwood Trust, Inc. engages in investing, financing, and managing real estate-related assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.38.

The average volume for Redwood has been 1,050,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Redwood has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 35.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Redwood as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. 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:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 1766.66% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 97.53% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • REDWOOD TRUST INC 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, REDWOOD TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.59 versus $0.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.75 versus $1.59).
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, REDWOOD TRUST INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • RWT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$108.05 million or 4761.34% 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.

Mack-Cali Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the leasing, management, acquisition, development, and construction of commercial real estate properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.28.

The average volume for Mack-Cali Realty has been 769,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mack-Cali Realty has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mack-Cali Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • Along with the stagnant revenue growth, the company underperformed against the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues have remained constant. Even though the company's revenue remained stagnant, the earnings per share decreased.
  • The gross profit margin for MACK-CALI REALTY CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 14.60%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -5.23% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $71.63 million or 12.06% 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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