Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 5 Companies: LINE, FTR, FE, IVR, XTEX

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."

Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 2,239,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Linn Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LINE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 923.3%. 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 93.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$430.01 million to -$30.06 million.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC 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, LINN ENERGY LLC swung to a loss, reporting -$1.86 versus $2.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.03 versus -$1.86).
  • LINE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 22.83% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • 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 0.46, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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

Frontier Communications Corp Class B

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Frontier Communications Corp Class B (NASDAQ: FTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Frontier Communications Corporation, a communications company, provides regulated and unregulated voice, data, and video services to business, residential, and wholesale customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 77.83.

The average volume for Frontier Communications Corp Class B has been 8,456,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Frontier Communications Corp Class B has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 9.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Frontier Communications Corp Class B as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 44.90% is the gross profit margin for FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FTR'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 2.98% trails the industry average.
  • FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP's earnings per share declined by 42.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. However, the consensus estimates suggest that there will be an upward trend in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP's EPS of $0.14 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $0.14. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.23 versus $0.14).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than 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 when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $67.00 million to $35.40 million.

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: 6.60%

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.60%.

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 138.71.

The average volume for FirstEnergy has been 4,225,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $13.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 20.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FIRSTENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 50.0% 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. 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 $1.81 versus $2.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.99 versus $1.81).
  • 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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 48.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $425.00 million to $218.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.54%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.42% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $1,178.00 million or 2.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, FIRSTENERGY CORP has marginally lower results.

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

Invesco Mortgage Capital

Dividend Yield: 13.30%

Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYSE: IVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.30%.

Invesco Mortgage Capital Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), focuses on investing in, financing, and managing residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans. It invests in residential mortgage-backed securities for which a U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.46.

The average volume for Invesco Mortgage Capital has been 1,432,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Invesco Mortgage Capital has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 23.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Invesco Mortgage Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. 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 INVESCO MORTGAGE CAPITAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 92.31%. Regardless of IVR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IVR's net profit margin of -3.45% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • INVESCO MORTGAGE CAPITAL 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INVESCO MORTGAGE CAPITAL INC reported lower earnings of $2.89 versus $3.45 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 22.5% in earnings ($2.24 versus $2.89).
  • 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 107.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $85.75 million to -$5.97 million.

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

Crosstex Energy

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ: XTEX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Crosstex Energy, L.P. operates as an independent midstream energy company.

The average volume for Crosstex Energy has been 446,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Crosstex Energy has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 85.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Crosstex Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.3%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, XTEX's share price has jumped by 84.26%, 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.
  • XTEX's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87 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. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.81 is weak.
  • CROSSTEX ENERGY LP 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CROSSTEX ENERGY LP reported poor results of -$1.01 versus -$0.38 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 41.1% in earnings (-$1.43 versus -$1.01).
  • 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 389.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$16.10 million to -$78.84 million.

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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