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." Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.30%. Mesa Royalty Trust holds net overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas producing properties in the United States. It has interests in properties located in the Hugoton field of Kansas; the San Juan Basin field of New Mexico and Colorado; and the Yellow Creek field of Wyoming. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.21. The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 3,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $41.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 19.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Mesa 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 and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- MTR 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 6.33, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The gross profit margin for MESA ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MTR has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MTR's net profit margin of 94.89% significantly outperformed against the industry.
- MTR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, MTR has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 21.99% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
- MESA ROYALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 17.2% 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, MESA ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $1.93 versus $2.96 in the prior year.
- You can view the full Mesa Royalty Ratings Report.