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."

ARMOUR Residential REIT

Dividend Yield: 13.10%

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.10%.

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 6.55.

The average volume for ARMOUR Residential REIT has been 9,400,600 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 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 8.2% in earnings ($0.89 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 7.12% 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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Penn West Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 12.10%

Penn West Petroleum (NYSE: PWE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.10%.

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 23.51.

The average volume for Penn West Petroleum has been 2,539,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Penn West Petroleum has a market cap of $4.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 17.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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.

BP

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

BP (NYSE: BP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

BP p.l.c. provides fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to engines, and petrochemicals products. The company has a P/E ratio of 416.20.

The average volume for BP has been 7,309,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. BP has a market cap of $132.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • BP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. 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 $6,340.00 million or 26.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, BP PLC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 26.66%.
  • 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 78.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7,685.00 million to $1,618.00 million.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, BP PLC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

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.

VimpelCom

Dividend Yield: 11.40%

VimpelCom (NYSE: VIP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

VimpelCom Ltd., a telecommunications service operator, provides voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.27.

The average volume for VimpelCom has been 1,370,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. VimpelCom has a market cap of $19.9 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 16.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates VimpelCom as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 305.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$390.19 million to $801.00 million.
  • 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VIMPELCOM LTD has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • VIMPELCOM LTD 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VIMPELCOM LTD increased its bottom line by earning $1.32 versus $0.45 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.9% in earnings ($1.23 versus $1.32).
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, VIP has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

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.

Old Republic International

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in underwriting insurance products primarily in the United States and Canada.

The average volume for Old Republic International has been 1,748,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Old Republic International has a market cap of $3.3 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are up 23.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Old Republic International 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, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ORI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.16 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 541.28% to $209.70 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.58%.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite 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.
  • 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 Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 Insurance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 136.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $55.20 million to -$20.20 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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