5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, DX, FGP, NTLS, PGH

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."

America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

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 31.95.

The average volume for America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P has been 142,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Tax Exempt Investors L.P has a market cap of $287.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.6% 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.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Dynex Capital

Dividend Yield: 11.10%

Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.10%.

Dynex Capital, Inc., a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in mortgage assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.68.

The average volume for Dynex Capital has been 490,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dynex Capital has a market cap of $574.1 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dynex Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DYNEX CAPITAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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.
  • DYNEX CAPITAL INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DYNEX CAPITAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.36 versus $1.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.4% in earnings ($1.30 versus $1.36).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. engages in the distribution and sale of propane, and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.31.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 229,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 30.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.14 versus -$0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.65 versus -$0.14).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 114.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.81 million to $44.68 million.
  • FGP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 115.38% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.87% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 19.20%. Regardless of FGP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.40% trails the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

NTELOS Holdings

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

NTELOS Holdings (NASDAQ: NTLS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.96.

The average volume for NTELOS Holdings has been 149,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. NTELOS Holdings has a market cap of $348.8 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 24% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NTELOS Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.0%. 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 $41.32 million or 33.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -18.24%.
  • The gross profit margin for NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 30.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.60% significantly trails the industry average.
  • 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 30.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.85 million to $5.49 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Pengrowth Energy

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Pengrowth Energy (NYSE: PGH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Pengrowth Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves in Canada.

The average volume for Pengrowth Energy has been 1,948,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pengrowth Energy has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pengrowth Energy 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 good cash flow from operations. 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.8%. 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.40, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • The gross profit margin for PENGROWTH ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 52.80%. Regardless of PGH's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PGH's net profit margin of -24.82% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 9135.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.72 million to -$65.05 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PENGROWTH ENERGY CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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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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