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."

Icahn

Dividend Yield: 5.90%

Icahn (NASDAQ: IEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.90%.

Icahn Enterprises L.P. engages in the investment, automotive, gaming, railcar, food packaging, metals, real estate, and home fashion businesses in the United States and internationally. Its Investment segment provides investment advisory, and administrative and back office services. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.94.

The average volume for Icahn has been 187,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Icahn has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 50.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • IEP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 89.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 273.79% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 33.62% 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.
  • ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP 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 year. During the past fiscal year, ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP increased its bottom line by earning $8.07 versus $2.14 in the prior year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$39.00 million or 108.12% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated.

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PVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

PVR Partners (NYSE: PVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

PVR Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering and processing of natural gas; and management of coal and natural resource properties in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Eastern Midstream, Midcontinent Midstream, and Coal and Natural Resource Management.

The average volume for PVR Partners has been 604,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. PVR Partners has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 7.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PVR Partners as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. 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:
  • PVR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PVR PARTNERS LP 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, PVR PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.70 versus -$1.60).
  • In its most recent trading session, PVR 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. 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.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, PVR maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.74, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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, PVR PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Newcastle Investment Corporation

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Newcastle Investment Corporation (NYSE: NCT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Newcastle Investment Corp. operates as a real estate investment and finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.71.

The average volume for Newcastle Investment Corporation has been 4,569,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Newcastle Investment Corporation has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newcastle Investment Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NCT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 77.77% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 80.39% 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.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, NEWCASTLE INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • NEWCASTLE 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEWCASTLE INVESTMENT CORP reported lower earnings of $2.84 versus $3.49 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 61.1% in earnings ($1.11 versus $2.84).

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.

Vale

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Vale (NYSE: VALE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.33.

The average volume for Vale has been 17,629,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vale has a market cap of $93.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 21.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.43, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.22, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 45.60% is the gross profit margin for VALE SA which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VALE's net profit margin of -20.55% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 164.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $4,363.78 million to -$2,822.29 million.
  • The share price of VALE SA has not done very well: it is down 22.54% 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.

Penn West Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 10.60%

Penn West Petroleum (NYSE: PWE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.60%.

Penn West Petroleum Ltd., an exploration and production company, engages in acquiring, exploring, developing, exploiting, and holding interests in petroleum and natural gas properties and related assets in western Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.86.

The average volume for Penn West Petroleum has been 2,216,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Penn West Petroleum has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Penn West Petroleum as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 14.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$62.00 million to -$53.00 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.30, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.40 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The gross profit margin for PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD is rather low; currently it is at 22.60%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -7.96% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $441.00 million or 8.88% 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.

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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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