What To Hold: Top 5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: MTR, NRGM, RNO, EVEP, EROC

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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

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 13.63.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 3,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $42.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 19.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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, deteriorating net income 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 8.81, 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 94.63% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MTR, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, MTR 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. 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 25.5% 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.

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

Inergy Midstream

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Inergy Midstream (NYSE: NRGM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Inergy Midstream, L.P. develops, acquires, owns, and operates midstream energy assets. It operates through three segments: Storage and Transportation, Salt, and Crude. The company has a P/E ratio of 112.00.

The average volume for Inergy Midstream has been 395,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Inergy Midstream has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Inergy Midstream as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth 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:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 45.1%. 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 gross profit margin for INERGY MIDSTREAM -LP is rather high; currently it is at 51.77%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.41% trails the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, NRGM's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.44, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 105.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $18.00 million to -$1.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $29.50 million or 42.38% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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

Rhino Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 14.40%

Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.40%.

Rhino Resource Partners LP, together with its subsidiaries, produces, processes, and sells various grades of steam and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.73.

The average volume for Rhino Resource Partners has been 38,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rhino Resource Partners has a market cap of $190.2 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rhino Resource Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $18.46 million or 13.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.63%.
  • RNO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 54.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $13.00 million to $5.90 million.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below 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.

EV Energy Partner

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

EV Energy Partner (NASDAQ: EVEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for EV Energy Partner has been 266,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partner has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 34.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates EV Energy Partner as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 59.66%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 40.26% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.35 versus $2.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.31 versus -$0.35).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $29.02 million or 46.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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

Eagle Rock Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 13.50%

Eagle Rock Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EROC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.50%.

Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in gathering, compressing, treating, processing, transporting, marketing, and trading natural gas, as well as fractionating and transporting natural gas liquids (NGL).

The average volume for Eagle Rock Energy Partners has been 883,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Eagle Rock Energy Partners has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 24.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eagle Rock Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.4%. 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 181.94% to $64.23 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.63%.
  • EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP 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, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.11 versus $0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.08 versus -$1.11).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.14%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.00% 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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