4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: TGS, UAN, NMFC, EROC

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."

Transportadora de Gas del Sur

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

Transportadora de Gas del Sur (NYSE: TGS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. engages in the transportation of natural gas primarily in Latin America. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.10.

The average volume for Transportadora de Gas del Sur has been 46,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Transportadora de Gas del Sur has a market cap of $286.0 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Transportadora de Gas del Sur as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. 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 weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.1%. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.92, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. To add to this, TGS has a quick ratio of 1.68, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Gas Utilities industry average. The net income has decreased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $23.10 million to $19.83 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $24.13 million or 28.26% 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.

CVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

CVR Partners (NYSE: UAN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

CVR Partners, LP engages in the production, distribution, and marketing of nitrogen fertilizers in North America. Its nitrogen fertilizer products include ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate. CVR GP, LLC serves as the general partner of the company. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.46.

The average volume for CVR Partners has been 176,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. CVR Partners has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 3.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CVR Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that net income has been generally deteriorating over time.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • UAN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • UAN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.58, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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 company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Chemicals industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 17.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $30.24 million to $35.55 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. When compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, CVR PARTNERS LP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds 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.

New Mountain Finance

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

New Mountain Finance (NYSE: NMFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.00.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 393,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $478.0 million and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are up 2.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New Mountain Finance as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 33.1%. 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 -$15.76 million or 47.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -119.02%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 3.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $23.67 million to $24.56 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.
  • NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP's earnings per share declined by 22.1% 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, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.20 versus $1.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 37.3% in earnings ($1.38 versus $2.20).

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.

Eagle Rock Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Eagle Rock Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EROC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in gathering, compressing, treating, processing, transporting, marketing, and trading natural gas, as well as fractionating and transporting natural gas liquids (NGL).

The average volume for Eagle Rock Energy Partners has been 640,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Eagle Rock Energy Partners has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eagle Rock Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, 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 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 33.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$50.33 million to -$33.51 million.
  • EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP has improved earnings per share by 37.5% 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, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.11 versus $0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.07 versus -$1.11).
  • 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, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 0.60%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -13.00% is significantly below that of the industry average.

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.

null

More from Markets

Trump, China Trade, Target and Las Vegas Casinos - 5 Things You Must Know

Trump, China Trade, Target and Las Vegas Casinos - 5 Things You Must Know

Global Rally Stalls as Trump Doubts North Korea Summit, Questions China Trade

Global Rally Stalls as Trump Doubts North Korea Summit, Questions China Trade

Pound Slides as Inflation Slows, Doubts Grow Over Bank of England Rate Hikes

Pound Slides as Inflation Slows, Doubts Grow Over Bank of England Rate Hikes

Lowe's Snags Ex-Home Depot Exec as CEO; ISPs Face Competitive Threat -- ICYMI

Lowe's Snags Ex-Home Depot Exec as CEO; ISPs Face Competitive Threat -- ICYMI

Dow Slips 178 Points; S&P 500 and Nasdaq Also Decline

Dow Slips 178 Points; S&P 500 and Nasdaq Also Decline