Don't Miss Out: Top 3 Yielding Hold-Rated Stocks: UDR, NRF, FE

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

UDR

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

UDR (NYSE: UDR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

UDR, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It owns, operates, acquires, renovates, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily apartment communities.

The average volume for UDR has been 1,803,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. UDR has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 4.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates UDR as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • UDR INC 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, UDR INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.25 versus -$0.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.04 versus -$0.25).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for UDR INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.43%. Regardless of UDR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, UDR's net profit margin of 2.67% 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 96.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $150.35 million to $5.19 million.

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Northstar Realty Finance Corporation

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Northstar Realty Finance Corporation (NYSE: NRF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., a real estate investment trust (REIT), operates as a commercial real estate (CRE) investment and asset management company in the United States.

The average volume for Northstar Realty Finance Corporation has been 3,980,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Northstar Realty Finance Corporation has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 24.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northstar Realty Finance Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NRF's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 90.32% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 48.97% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • 47.45% is the gross profit margin for NORTHSTAR REALTY FINANCE CP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of NRF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NRF's net profit margin of 0.19% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, NORTHSTAR REALTY FINANCE CP'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.

FirstEnergy

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.92.

The average volume for FirstEnergy has been 3,183,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $15.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 11.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FE, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 16.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FIRSTENERGY 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. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $1.84 versus $2.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.00 versus $1.84).
  • The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.42%. Regardless of FE's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FE's net profit margin of -4.66% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.26, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FIRSTENERGY CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of 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.

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