3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: WIN, PBI, WRI

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."

Windstream Holdings

Dividend Yield: 11.70%

Windstream Holdings (NASDAQ: WIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.70%.

Windstream Holdings, Inc. provides communications and technology solutions in the United States. The company offers managed services and cloud computing services to businesses, as well as broadband, voice, and video services to consumers primarily in rural markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.62.

The average volume for Windstream Holdings has been 6,106,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Windstream Holdings has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Windstream Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $408.00 million or 2.51% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.11%.
  • The gross profit margin for WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC is rather high; currently it is at 53.43%. 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 2.63% trails the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has decreased by 22.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $51.00 million to $39.70 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 9.45 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, WIN has a quick ratio of 0.53, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

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

Pitney Bowes

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Pitney Bowes Inc. provides software, hardware, and services to enable physical and digital communications in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.22.

The average volume for Pitney Bowes has been 4,902,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pitney Bowes has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are up 69% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pitney Bowes as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, PBI's share price has jumped by 28.02%, 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.
  • 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, PITNEY BOWES INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PITNEY BOWES INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.22%. Regardless of PBI'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 -0.79% trails 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 109.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $99.62 million to -$9.23 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $146.88 million or 46.42% 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.

Weingarten Realty Investors

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Weingarten Realty Investors operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the management, acquisition, and development of real estate. It operates in two segments, Shopping Center and Industrial. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.62.

The average volume for Weingarten Realty Investors has been 757,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Weingarten Realty Investors has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 10.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Weingarten Realty Investors as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 33.7%. 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.
  • 38.59% is the gross profit margin for WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 48.00% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST 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. 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, WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.24 versus -$0.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.66 versus $0.24).
  • 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.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST's return on equity is below 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.

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