5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: NSH, SLRC, HRZN, NMFC, NRT

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

NuStar GP Holdings

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC owns general partner and limited partner interests in NuStar Energy L.P. that engages in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and petroleum refining and marketing. The company has a P/E ratio of 613.40.

The average volume for NuStar GP Holdings has been 132,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. NuStar GP Holdings has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NuStar GP Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

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 slightly increased by 3.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 0.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $11.05 million to $11.08 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. NSH has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NSH's net profit margin of 91.19% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC reported lower earnings of $0.05 versus $1.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.43 versus $0.05).
  • NSH has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.79% from its price level of one year ago. 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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Solar Capital

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

Solar Capital (NASDAQ: SLRC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

Solar Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.05.

The average volume for Solar Capital has been 349,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Capital has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.2%. 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SOLAR CAPITAL LTD's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 55.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $51.86 million to $23.30 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$213.35 million or 648.11% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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Horizon Technology Finance Corp BDC

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

Horizon Technology Finance Corp BDC (NASDAQ: HRZN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

Horizon Technology Finance Corporation, a specialty finance company, lends to and invests in development-stage companies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.33.

The average volume for Horizon Technology Finance Corp BDC has been 81,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Horizon Technology Finance Corp BDC has a market cap of $137.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Horizon Technology Finance Corp BDC as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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 weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.2%. 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 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HORIZON TECHNOLOGY FINANCE underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$18.39 million or 681.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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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 7.04.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 401,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $480.5 million and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are up 3.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 5.0%. 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 -120.45%.
  • 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 38.2% in earnings ($1.36 versus $2.20).

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North European Oil Royalty

Dividend Yield: 10.20%

North European Oil Royalty (NYSE: NRT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

North European Oil Royalty Trust, a grantor trust, holds overriding royalty rights covering gas and oil production in concessions or leases in the Federal Republic of Germany. It holds these rights under contracts with German exploration and development subsidiaries of ExxonMobil Corp. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.41.

The average volume for North European Oil Royalty has been 15,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. North European Oil Royalty has a market cap of $229.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates North European Oil Royalty as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, 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:
  • The gross profit margin for NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. NRT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NRT's net profit margin of 96.61% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, NRT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.79% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR's earnings per share declined by 5.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR reported lower earnings of $2.46 versus $2.63 in the prior year.
  • 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 the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income has decreased by 6.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $6.26 million to $5.84 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.

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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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