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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold." Stonemor Partners (NYSE: STON) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%. 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 83,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stonemor Partners has a market cap of $537.6 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 20.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Stonemor Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- STON's revenue growth trails the industry average of 21.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.5%. 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.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 60.13% to $9.62 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STONEMOR PARTNERS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 53.49%.
- 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. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
- Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. 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 444.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$2.17 million to -$11.81 million.
- You can view the full Stonemor Partners Ratings Report.