Best Of The Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 5 Companies: NSH, NKA, VNR, SJT, INTX

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."

NuStar GP Holdings

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC owns general partner and limited partner interests in NuStar Energy L.P. that engages in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and petroleum refining and marketing. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.48.

The average volume for NuStar GP Holdings has been 325,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. NuStar GP Holdings has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NuStar GP Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 46.6%. 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 NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. NSH has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NSH's net profit margin of 89.39% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • NSH's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.07 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that NSH's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.52, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 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 37.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $19.17 million to $12.04 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $4.20 million or 55.65% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 117.85.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 56,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $534.7 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 41.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NKA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 50.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 49.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$15.40 million to -$7.84 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is rather high; currently it is at 50.11%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -21.27% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.35, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$59.49 million or 334.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Vanguard Natural Resources has been 312,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vanguard Natural Resources has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VNR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 272.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 104.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$68.73 million to $3.12 million.
  • VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES 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, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES swung to a loss, reporting -$2.76 versus $2.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.15 versus -$2.76).
  • VNR's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that VNR's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.65 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • 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, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES'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.

San Juan Basin Royalty

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

San Juan Basin Royalty (NYSE: SJT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

San Juan Basin Royalty Trust operates as an express trust. The company has a 75% net overriding royalty interest carved out of Burlington's oil and gas leasehold interests (the underlying properties) in properties located in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.89.

The average volume for San Juan Basin Royalty has been 125,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. San Juan Basin Royalty has a market cap of $754.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 20.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates San Juan Basin Royalty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock itself is trading at a premium valuation.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SJT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 179.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SJT 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 3.48, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for SAN JUAN BASIN ROYALTY TR is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. SJT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SJT's net profit margin of 97.90% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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, SAN JUAN BASIN ROYALTY TR's return on equity significantly exceeds 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.

Intersections

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Intersections (NASDAQ: INTX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Intersections Inc. provides consumer identity risk management services in the United States. Its services help consumers understand and monitor their credit profiles and other personal information, and protect themselves against identity theft or fraud. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.11.

The average volume for Intersections has been 58,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Intersections has a market cap of $151.7 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 11.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intersections 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 and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • INTX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTX has a quick ratio of 1.56, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for INTERSECTIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 64.86%. Regardless of INTX'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 -1.95% trails the industry average.
  • INTERSECTIONS INC has experienced 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 not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTERSECTIONS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.06 versus $0.97 in the prior year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $5.23 million or 62.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Commercial Services & Supplies industry and the overall market, INTERSECTIONS INC'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.

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