3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: NSH, HGT, VGR

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."

NuStar GP Holdings

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

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 488.40.

The average volume for NuStar GP Holdings has been 186,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. NuStar GP Holdings has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 12.1% 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 also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.7%. 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.
  • NSH's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.05 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that NSH's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.50, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • NSH has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 16.78% 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.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC'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.

Hugoton Royalty

Dividend Yield: 11.20%

Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.20%.

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.53.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 160,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $350.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 18.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hugoton Royalty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, HGT's share price has jumped by 28.36%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • HGT 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 HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. HGT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HGT's net profit margin of 96.92% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.58 versus $1.40 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 20.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $9.83 million to $7.82 million.

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

Vector Group

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

Vector Group (NYSE: VGR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States. The company operates in Tobacco and Real Estate segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.90.

The average volume for Vector Group has been 365,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vector Group has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 8.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vector Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry. The net income increased by 78.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$7.69 million to -$1.68 million.
  • The gross profit margin for VECTOR GROUP LTD is rather high; currently it is at 53.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.27% is in-line with the industry average.
  • VGR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, VGR has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.92 million or 124.44% 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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