4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: STON, NTLS, PGH, GSJK

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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Stonemor Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

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.

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

NTELOS Holdings

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

NTELOS Holdings (NASDAQ: NTLS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.05.

The average volume for NTELOS Holdings has been 175,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. NTELOS Holdings has a market cap of $396.4 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 43.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NTELOS Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NTLS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.4%. 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 67.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.61 million to $9.39 million.
  • 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 is very high at 11.03 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, NTLS has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.70, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.15%. Regardless of NTLS's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NTLS's net profit margin of 7.83% is significantly lower than 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.

Pengrowth Energy

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Pengrowth Energy (NYSE: PGH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Pengrowth Energy Corporation engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves in Canada.

The average volume for Pengrowth Energy has been 1,613,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pengrowth Energy has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pengrowth Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. 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 current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.41, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • The gross profit margin for PENGROWTH ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 62.40%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -14.66% is in-line with the industry average.
  • 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 245.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $36.77 million to -$53.45 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PENGROWTH ENERGY CORP'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.

Compressco Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Compressco Partners (NASDAQ: GSJK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Compressco Partners, L.P. provides compression-based production enhancement services for natural gas and oil exploration and production companies. Its production enhancement services are used in both conventional wellhead compression applications and unconventional compression applications. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.76.

The average volume for Compressco Partners has been 14,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Compressco Partners has a market cap of $176.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Compressco Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GSJK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, GSJK's share price has jumped by 31.98%, 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.
  • 41.05% is the gross profit margin for COMPRESSCO PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of GSJK'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 10.98% trails the industry average.
  • COMPRESSCO PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 13.0% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, COMPRESSCO PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.04 versus $0.47 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.0% in earnings ($1.03 versus $1.04).
  • 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has decreased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3.60 million to $3.09 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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