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."

Arlington Asset Investment

Dividend Yield: 13.90%

Arlington Asset Investment (NYSE: AI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.90%.

Arlington Asset Investment Corp., an investment firm, acquires mortgage-related and other assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.34.

The average volume for Arlington Asset Investment has been 326,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arlington Asset Investment has a market cap of $316.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 21.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arlington Asset Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • AI's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 66.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT increased its bottom line by earning $15.11 versus $1.98 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 73.3% in earnings ($4.03 versus $15.11).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $7.45 million or 16.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 16.67%, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -113.26%.

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BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 11.20%

BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: BKCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.20%.

BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation is a private equity firm specializing in investments in middle market companies. The firm invests in all industries. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.91.

The average volume for BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation has been 709,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation has a market cap of $687.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 7.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BKCC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.3%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 304.29% to $61.76 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BLACKROCK KELSO CAPITAL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -113.26%.
  • 36.00% is the gross profit margin for BLACKROCK KELSO CAPITAL CORP 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, the net profit margin of 4.59% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, BKCC 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.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 75.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.05 million to $1.74 million.

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Memorial Production Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

Memorial Production Partners (NASDAQ: MEMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

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 1974.00.

The average volume for Memorial Production Partners has been 499,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Memorial Production Partners has a market cap of $571.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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.

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Dynex Capital

Dividend Yield: 11.40%

Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

Dynex Capital, Inc., a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in mortgage assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.55.

The average volume for Dynex Capital has been 428,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dynex Capital has a market cap of $552.7 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dynex Capital 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 growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 36.8%. 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 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DYNEX CAPITAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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.
  • DYNEX CAPITAL INC's earnings per share declined by 5.5% 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, DYNEX CAPITAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.36 versus $1.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 8.1% in earnings ($1.25 versus $1.36).

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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