3 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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Washington REIT

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Washington REIT (NYSE: WRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the ownership, operation, and development of real properties. The firm invests in real estate markets of the greater Washington D.C. metro region. The company has a P/E ratio of 119.00.

The average volume for Washington REIT has been 510,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Washington REIT has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Washington REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • WASHINGTON REIT 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. During the past fiscal year, WASHINGTON REIT turned its bottom line around by earning $0.27 versus -$0.06 in the prior year.
  • WRE's revenue growth trails the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $38.34 million or 21.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, WASHINGTON REIT's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 36.21%.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 90.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $30.38 million to $2.94 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, WRE 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. 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.

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Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Vanguard Natural Resources has been 405,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vanguard Natural Resources has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vanguard Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VNR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 404.3%. 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.
  • In its most recent trading session, VNR 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. 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.
  • VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES 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, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES swung to a loss, reporting -$2.76 versus $2.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.40 versus -$2.76).
  • 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, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $45.33 million or 4.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES has marginally lower results.

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.

Mack-Cali Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.50%

Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.50%.

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is a real estate investment trust (REIT). It engages in the leasing, management, acquisition, development, and construction of commercial real estate properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 79.34.

The average volume for Mack-Cali Realty has been 892,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mack-Cali Realty has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mack-Cali Realty as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Along with the stagnant revenue growth, the company underperformed against the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues have remained constant. Even though the company's revenue remained stagnant, the earnings per share decreased.
  • MACK-CALI REALTY 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 two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MACK-CALI REALTY CORP reported lower earnings of $0.46 versus $0.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.54 versus $0.46).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 157.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $16.19 million to -$9.23 million.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MACK-CALI REALTY CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than 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.

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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