3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: SFL, MEMP, 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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

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 7.34.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 609,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 -25.53%.
  • 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.

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Memorial Production Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.40%

Memorial Production Partners (NASDAQ: MEMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.40%.

Memorial Production Partners LP, through its subsidiary, Memorial Production Operating LLC, engages in the acquisition, development, exploitation, and production of oil and natural gas properties.

The average volume for Memorial Production Partners has been 309,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Memorial Production Partners has a market cap of $764.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Memorial Production Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its price level of one year ago, MEMP is up 6.23% to its most recent closing price of 19.76. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals should 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 gross profit margin for MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 61.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.19% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • MEMP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, MEMP has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.63, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 74.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $117.77 million to $29.81 million.

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Pengrowth Energy

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Pengrowth Energy (NYSE: PGH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

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 1,707,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pengrowth Energy has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 10.6%. 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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