3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: VNR, SUI, CLI

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."

Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 8.50%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.50%.

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 428,400 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 14.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vanguard Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.8%. 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.
  • 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.
  • The gross profit margin for VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES is rather high; currently it is at 50.30%. Regardless of VNR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VNR's net profit margin of -40.08% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, VNR has a quick ratio of 0.67, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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.

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Sun Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Sun Communities (NYSE: SUI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Sun Communities, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It owns, operates, and develops manufactured housing communities in the midwestern, southern, and southeastern United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 332.81.

The average volume for Sun Communities has been 249,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sun Communities has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 33.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sun Communities 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 compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including 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 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.7%. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 35.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.38 million to $7.26 million.
  • SUN COMMUNITIES INC's earnings per share declined by 9.5% 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, SUN COMMUNITIES INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.20 versus -$0.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.58 versus $0.20).
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SUN COMMUNITIES INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for SUN COMMUNITIES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.00%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.99% significantly trails 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.

Mack-Cali Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

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 80.54.

The average volume for Mack-Cali Realty has been 849,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mack-Cali Realty has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mack-Cali Realty as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. 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:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. 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.
  • 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 $0.44 versus $0.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.54 versus $0.44).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $49.07 million or 13.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow MACK-CALI REALTY CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -34.71%.
  • 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.
  • The gross profit margin for MACK-CALI REALTY CORP is rather low; currently it is at 22.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.41% significantly trails 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.

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