5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: EDUC, FGP, GOOD, VGR, CCCL

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."

Educational Development Corporation

Dividend Yield: 10.40%

Educational Development Corporation (NASDAQ: EDUC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.40%.

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 23.77.

The average volume for Educational Development Corporation has been 4,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Educational Development Corporation has a market cap of $12.3 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 18.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 9.1%. 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.

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. engages in the distribution and sale of propane, and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.87.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 217,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 33.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FERRELLGAS 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, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP continued to lose money by earning -$0.14 versus -$0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.69 versus -$0.14).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 114.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.81 million to $44.68 million.
  • FGP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 15.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 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. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 19.15%. Regardless of FGP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FGP's net profit margin of 7.40% compares favorably to 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.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ: GOOD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans.

The average volume for Gladstone Commercial Corporation has been 93,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Commercial Corporation has a market cap of $259.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Commercial Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • GOOD's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.9%. 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 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.
  • 48.32% is the gross profit margin for GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of GOOD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GOOD's net profit margin of 3.15% is significantly lower than 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.85 million to $0.45 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL 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.

Vector Group

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

Vector Group (NYSE: VGR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the United States. The company operates in Tobacco and Real Estate segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.49.

The average volume for Vector Group has been 356,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vector Group has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vector Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Tobacco industry. The net income increased by 78.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$7.69 million to -$1.68 million.
  • The gross profit margin for VECTOR GROUP LTD is rather high; currently it is at 53.27%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.27% is in-line with the industry average.
  • VGR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, VGR 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. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.92 million or 124.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

China Ceramics

Dividend Yield: 8.00%

China Ceramics (NASDAQ: CCCL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.00%.

China Ceramics Co., Ltd. engages in the manufacture and sale of ceramic tiles for exterior siding and interior flooring, and design in residential and commercial buildings in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.90.

The average volume for China Ceramics has been 40,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. China Ceramics has a market cap of $50.9 million and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are up 16.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates China Ceramics 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, reasonable valuation levels 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 poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CCCL's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.37, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $15.96 million or 36.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CHINA CERAMICS CO LTD's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 46.90%.
  • 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 Building Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 107.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $11.38 million to -$0.87 million.
  • The gross profit margin for CHINA CERAMICS CO LTD is currently extremely low, coming in at 14.83%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -3.60% 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.

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