4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: SFL, MCEP, MARPS, UAN

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."

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Ship Finance International Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.74.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 527,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 1.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 124.51% to $68.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -25.48%.
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 64.20%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFL's net profit margin of 49.74% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 16.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $38.95 million to $32.38 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, SFL maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.78, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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

Mid-Con Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Mid-Con Energy Partners (NASDAQ: MCEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Mid-Con Energy Partners, LP engages in the acquisition, exploitation, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.32.

The average volume for Mid-Con Energy Partners has been 69,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-Con Energy Partners has a market cap of $445.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 23.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-Con Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MID-CON ENERGY PARTNERS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • MCEP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 79.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MID-CON ENERGY 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, MID-CON ENERGY PARTNERS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.63 versus $0.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.03 versus $1.63).
  • 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. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, MCEP's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.10, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.

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

Marine Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

Marine Petroleum (NASDAQ: MARPS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

Marine Petroleum Trust, through its subsidiary, Marine Petroleum Corporation, operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.51.

The average volume for Marine Petroleum has been 3,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Marine Petroleum has a market cap of $31.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 13.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marine Petroleum 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MARPS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • The gross profit margin for MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MARPS has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MARPS's net profit margin of 97.08% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST's earnings per share declined by 24.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $1.92 versus $1.59 in the prior year.
  • Looking at the price performance of MARPS's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 31.39%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • 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 decreased by 24.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $0.97 million to $0.73 million.

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

CVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

CVR Partners (NYSE: UAN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

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 15.30.

The average volume for CVR Partners has been 375,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. CVR Partners has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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.

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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