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." Stonemor Partners (NYSE: STON) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%. StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of cemeteries in the United States. It operates through Cemetery Operations Southeast, Cemetery Operations Northeast, Cemetery Operations West, and Funeral Homes segments. The average volume for Stonemor Partners has been 82,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stonemor Partners has a market cap of $556.0 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 26.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Stonemor Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. 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:
- STON's revenue growth trails the industry average of 26.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.0%. 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 gross profit margin for STONEMOR PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 52.29%. Regardless of STON's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STON's net profit margin of -3.69% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
- STONEMOR PARTNERS LP 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. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.16 versus -$0.53 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 81.3% in earnings (-$0.29 versus -$0.16).
- 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry and the overall market, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 208.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.03 million to -$2.20 million.
- You can view the full Stonemor Partners Ratings Report.