5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: TCPC, SFL, EDUC, CNSL, VOC

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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."

TCP Capital

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

TCP Capital (NASDAQ: TCPC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

TCP Capital Corp. is a business development company specializing in investments in debt of public and private middle market companies. The fund also provides leveraged loans. It seeks to invests in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.79.

The average volume for TCP Capital has been 319,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. TCP Capital has a market cap of $358.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 13.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TCP Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 42.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • TCP CAPITAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.74 versus $1.20).
  • Net operating cash flow has remained constant at $6.11 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. Even though TCP CAPITAL CORP's cash flow growth was minimal, the firm managed to surpass its industry's average growth rate of -81.71%.
  • 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.
  • When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, TCP CAPITAL CORP's return on equity is below 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.

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

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 7.07.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 713,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 -25.84%.
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 64.15%. 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 significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. 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.

Educational Development Corporation

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

Educational Development Corporation (NASDAQ: EDUC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

Educational Development Corporation operates as a trade publisher of the line of children's books in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.69.

The average volume for Educational Development Corporation has been 5,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Educational Development Corporation has a market cap of $12.8 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Educational Development Corporation 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 and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • EDUC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.01, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 58.67%. Regardless of EDUC'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 1.11% trails the industry average.
  • EDUC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP reported lower earnings of $0.20 versus $0.36 in the prior year.
  • 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 Distributors industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 80.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.35 million to $0.07 million.

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

Consolidated Communications

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ: CNSL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services to residential and business customers in Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Kansas, and Missouri. The company has a P/E ratio of 68.58.

The average volume for Consolidated Communications has been 204,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Communications has a market cap of $715.2 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 12.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CNSL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 67.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 285.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.76 million to $6.78 million.
  • CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC reported lower earnings of $0.17 versus $0.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.17).
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CONSOLIDATED COMM HLDGS INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 9.60 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, CNSL has a quick ratio of 0.55, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover 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.

VOC Energy

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

VOC Energy (NYSE: VOC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

VOC Energy Trust acquires and holds a term net profits interest of the net proceeds from production of the interests in oil and natural gas properties in the states of Kansas and Texas. It owns an 80% term net profits interest of the net proceeds on the underlying properties.

The average volume for VOC Energy has been 60,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. VOC Energy has a market cap of $240.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates VOC Energy 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 unimpressive growth in net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VOC 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 VOC ENERGY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. VOC has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VOC's net profit margin of 99.39% 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. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VOC ENERGY TRUST has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 29.94%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 40.90% compared to 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 significantly decreased by 40.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.48 million to $4.42 million.

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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