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."

Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Valley National Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, and wealth management financial services. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.70.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1,024,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valley National Bancorp has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valley National Bancorp as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 75.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.98% is above that of the industry average.
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP's earnings per share declined by 11.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP reported lower earnings of $0.74 versus $0.76 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.3% in earnings ($0.67 versus $0.74).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income has decreased by 9.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $34.53 million to $31.31 million.

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America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

America First Tax Exempt Investors, L.P. engages in acquiring, holding, selling, and dealing with a portfolio of federally tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds, which have been issued to provide construction and/or permanent financing of multifamily residential apartments. The company has a P/E ratio of 77.67.

The average volume for America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P has been 92,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P has a market cap of $299.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • This stock has managed to rise its share value by 27.50% over the past twelve months. Although ATAX had significant growth over the past year, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock at the current time.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICA FIRST TAX EX IVS -LP is rather high; currently it is at 63.90%. Regardless of ATAX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATAX's net profit margin of 31.02% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.53 million or 113.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 113.17%, AMERICA FIRST TAX EX IVS -LP is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -173.46%.
  • 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AMERICA FIRST TAX EX IVS -LP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.

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Full Circle Capital Corp BDC

Dividend Yield: 11.50%

Full Circle Capital Corp BDC (NASDAQ: FULL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.50%.

Full Circle Capital Corporation is a business development company and operates as an externally managed non-diversified closed-end management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.05.

The average volume for Full Circle Capital Corp BDC has been 62,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Full Circle Capital Corp BDC has a market cap of $60.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 7.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Full Circle Capital Corp BDC as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FULL, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP 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 year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $0.44 versus $0.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.81 versus $0.44).
  • In its most recent trading session, FULL 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. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • The gross profit margin for FULL CIRCLE CAPITAL CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.30%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -35.51% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$1.80 million or 146.56% 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.

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Gold Resource

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Gold Resource (AMEX: GORO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Gold Resource Corporation engages in the exploration for and production of gold and silver in Mexico. The company also explores for copper, lead, and zinc. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.88.

The average volume for Gold Resource has been 395,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gold Resource has a market cap of $533.6 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 34.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gold Resource 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 a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GORO 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 3.27, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for GOLD RESOURCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.60%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GORO's net profit margin of 31.28% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • GORO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 21.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 62.91%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 75.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, GORO is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • GOLD RESOURCE CORP 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOLD RESOURCE CORP reported lower earnings of $0.61 versus $1.08 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 11.5% in earnings ($0.54 versus $0.61).

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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