3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks Taking The Lead: VCI, CPWR, HTA

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."

Valassis Communications

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Valassis Communications, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides media solutions primarily in the United States and Europe. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.45.

The average volume for Valassis Communications has been 407,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valassis Communications has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valassis Communications as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, deteriorating net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • VCI, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Media industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 24.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $36.74 million to $27.71 million.
  • The gross profit margin for VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.73%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.66% 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.

Compuware Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ: CPWR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Compuware Corporation provides services, software, and practices for information technology (IT) organizations worldwide.

The average volume for Compuware Corporation has been 2,371,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Compuware Corporation has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the computer software & services industry. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Compuware Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Software industry. The net income increased by 54.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.59 million to $16.34 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • COMPUWARE CORP has improved earnings per share by 40.0% 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, COMPUWARE CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.08 versus $0.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.48 versus -$0.08).
  • The gross profit margin for COMPUWARE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.13%. Regardless of CPWR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CPWR's net profit margin of 7.16% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • 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 Software industry and the overall market, COMPUWARE 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.

Healthcare Trust of America

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

Healthcare Trust of America (NYSE: HTA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

Healthcare Trust of America is a fully integrated, self-administered and internally managed real estate investment trust, or REIT. The company acquires, owns and operates medical office buildings and other facilities that serve the healthcare industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 131.50.

The average volume for Healthcare Trust of America has been 1,176,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Healthcare Trust of America has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Healthcare Trust of America as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 263.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.95 million to $4.82 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HEALTHCARE TRUST OF AMERICA 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, HEALTHCARE TRUST OF AMERICA reported poor results of -$0.10 versus $0.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.14 versus -$0.10).
  • In its most recent trading session, HTA 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. 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 HEALTHCARE TRUST OF AMERICA is rather low; currently it is at 24.00%. Regardless of HTA's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HTA's net profit margin of 5.84% is significantly lower than 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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