5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: MFA, IAG, NEM, VALE, RIG

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."

MFA Financial

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The company has a P/E ratio of 10.90.

The average volume for MFA Financial has been 3,523,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for MFA FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 93.20%. Regardless of MFA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MFA's net profit margin of 62.19% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 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, MFA FINANCIAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $71.17 million or 10.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 10.96%, MFA FINANCIAL INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.37%.

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

Iamgold

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Iamgold (NYSE: IAG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

IAMGOLD Corporation engages in the exploration, development, and operation of mining properties. Its products include gold, silver, niobium, and copper deposits. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.82.

The average volume for Iamgold has been 7,072,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Iamgold has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 53.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Iamgold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • IAG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 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 2.87, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for IAMGOLD CORP is rather high; currently it is at 52.20%. Regardless of IAG's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.57% trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 90.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $119.20 million to $10.90 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $99.50 million or 41.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, IAMGOLD CORP has marginally lower results.

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

Newmont Mining Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Newmont Mining Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and production of gold and copper properties. The company's assets or operations are located in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Mexico, and New Zealand. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.34.

The average volume for Newmont Mining Corporation has been 8,406,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Newmont Mining Corporation has a market cap of $16.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 26.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Newmont Mining Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.84 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 32.40%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 43.24% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $433.00 million or 28.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 28.89%, NEWMONT MINING CORP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -35.40%.

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

Vale

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Vale (NYSE: VALE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.56.

The average volume for Vale has been 18,832,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vale has a market cap of $74.8 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 31.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale 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 attractive valuation levels. 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VALE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.2%. 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 current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.32, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for VALE SA is rather high; currently it is at 56.60%. Regardless of VALE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VALE's net profit margin of 28.44% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, VALE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 21.60% 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.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VALE SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to 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.

Transocean

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Transocean (NYSE: RIG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Transocean Ltd. provides offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells worldwide. It offers deepwater and harsh environment drilling, oil and gas drilling management, and drilling engineering and drilling project management services, as well as logistics services. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.56.

The average volume for Transocean has been 2,895,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Transocean has a market cap of $18.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Transocean as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • TRANSOCEAN LTD 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, TRANSOCEAN LTD turned its bottom line around by earning $2.62 versus -$17.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.43 versus $2.62).
  • RIG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that RIG's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.73 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, TRANSOCEAN LTD's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $106.00 million or 80.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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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