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."

QR Energy

Dividend Yield: 10.90%

QR Energy (NYSE: QRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.90%.

QR Energy, LP, through its subsidiary, QRE Operating, LLC, engages in the acquisition, exploitation, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 94.16.

The average volume for QR Energy has been 406,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. QR Energy has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates QR Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in net income. 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 generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • QRE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • QR ENERGY 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 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, QR ENERGY LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.54 versus $0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.14 versus $0.54).
  • The gross profit margin for QR ENERGY LP is rather high; currently it is at 59.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.98% trails the industry average.
  • 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, QR ENERGY LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • QRE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.76% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

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Hugoton Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.07.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 174,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $372.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 29.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hugoton Royalty 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HGT has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • The gross profit margin for HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. HGT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HGT's net profit margin of 61.73% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 41.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST 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. During the past fiscal year, HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.58 versus $1.40 in the prior year.
  • 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 63.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $13.09 million to $4.74 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.

Stonemor Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Stonemor Partners (NYSE: STON) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of cemeteries in the United States. It operates through Cemetery Operations Southeast, Cemetery Operations Northeast, Cemetery Operations West, and Funeral Homes segments.

The average volume for Stonemor Partners has been 114,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stonemor Partners has a market cap of $523.1 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 28% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Stonemor Partners 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 unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 119.61% to $1.10 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -72.88%.
  • STONEMOR PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.15 versus -$0.16).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Diversified Consumer Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$3.09 million to -$3.94 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.89 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, STON has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.81, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash 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.

Dominion Resources Black Warrior

Dividend Yield: 13.00%

Dominion Resources Black Warrior (NYSE: DOM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.00%.

Dominion Resources Black Warrior Trust operates as a grantor trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.17.

The average volume for Dominion Resources Black Warrior has been 39,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dominion Resources Black Warrior has a market cap of $38.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 68.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dominion Resources Black Warrior 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DOM has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 92.70, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. DOM has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, DOM's net profit margin of 81.10% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 36.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR's earnings per share declined by 39.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, DOMINION RES BLACK WARRIOR reported lower earnings of $0.54 versus $0.93 in the prior year.
  • 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 41.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.84 million to $1.07 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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