5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: CNSL, MCEP, NYMT, CRT, 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."

Consolidated Communications

Dividend Yield: 8.80%

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ: CNSL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.80%.

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 67.92.

The average volume for Consolidated Communications has been 198,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Communications has a market cap of $708.4 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 11% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 0.9%. 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.

Mid-Con Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

Mid-Con Energy Partners (NASDAQ: MCEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

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 14.16.

The average volume for Mid-Con Energy Partners has been 70,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-Con Energy Partners has a market cap of $473.9 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 31.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 10.8%. 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 ($2.04 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.

New York Mortgage

Dividend Yield: 16.60%

New York Mortgage (NASDAQ: NYMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 16.60%.

New York Mortgage Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in acquiring, investing in, financing, and managing mortgage-related and financial assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.72.

The average volume for New York Mortgage has been 1,331,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. New York Mortgage has a market cap of $415.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New York Mortgage as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NYMT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 205.2%. 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 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW YORK MORTGAGE TRUST INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, NYMT 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. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW YORK MORTGAGE TRUST INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.55%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.45% trails that of the industry average.

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

Cross Timbers Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.80%

Cross Timbers Royalty (NYSE: CRT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.80%.

Cross Timbers Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company's function is to collect and distribute monthly net profits income from royalty interests and overriding royalty interests to unitholders. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.47.

The average volume for Cross Timbers Royalty has been 14,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cross Timbers Royalty has a market cap of $165.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cross Timbers Royalty 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CRT 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 16.79, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. CRT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CRT's net profit margin of 95.20% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • CRT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 36.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 38.0% 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, CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $2.48 versus $2.99 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 37.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $4.25 million to $2.66 million.

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: 11.40%

VOC Energy (NYSE: VOC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

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 59,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. VOC Energy has a market cap of $244.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 28.90%, 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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