Hold These Top 5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks Today: AEC, LXP, CMLP, BMO, 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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Associated Estates Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Associated Estates Realty (NYSE: AEC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Associated Estates Realty Corporation is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It specializes in owning and managing apartment communities in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 94.76.

The average volume for Associated Estates Realty has been 682,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Associated Estates Realty has a market cap of $926.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Associated Estates Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AEC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ASSOCIATED ESTATES RLTY CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ASSOCIATED ESTATES RLTY CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.00 versus -$0.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an increase in earnings to $0.69 from $0.00.
  • The gross profit margin for ASSOCIATED ESTATES RLTY CORP is rather low; currently it is at 19.83%. Regardless of AEC's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AEC's net profit margin of 42.08% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ASSOCIATED ESTATES RLTY CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $19.81 million or 6.81% 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.

Lexington Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

Lexington Realty (NYSE: LXP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The company acquires, owns, and manages a portfolio of office, industrial, and retail properties net-leased to corporate tenants in the United States.

The average volume for Lexington Realty has been 2,119,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lexington Realty has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lexington Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LXP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.5%. 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 51.32% to $59.93 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.52%.
  • 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.
  • 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 97.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $174.54 million to $4.70 million.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST'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.

Crestwood Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Crestwood Midstream Partners (NYSE: CMLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP primarily engages in the gathering, processing, treating, compressing, transporting, and selling natural gas in the United States. The company operates in four segments: Barnett, Fayetteville, Granite Wash, and Marcellus. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.17.

The average volume for Crestwood Midstream Partners has been 915,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Crestwood Midstream Partners has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 0.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Crestwood Midstream Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. 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 generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.9%. 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.
  • 46.42% is the gross profit margin for CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS LP which we consider to be strong. 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 6.27% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, CMLP 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. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PTNRS 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 $23.82 million or 22.15% 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.

Bank of Montreal

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Bank of Montreal, together with its subsidiaries, provides various retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services in North America and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.52.

The average volume for Bank of Montreal has been 322,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Bank of Montreal has a market cap of $44.9 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of Montreal as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BMO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BANK OF MONTREAL has improved earnings per share by 18.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF MONTREAL increased its bottom line by earning $6.15 versus $5.25 in the prior year.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 17.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $951.00 million to $1,121.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,964.00 million or 17.43% 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.

Weingarten Realty Investors

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

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 43.10.

The average volume for Weingarten Realty Investors has been 655,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Weingarten Realty Investors has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Weingarten Realty Investors as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. 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:
  • WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.20 versus -$0.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.05 versus $0.20).
  • 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 50.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $40.27 million to $60.54 million.
  • 37.09% is the gross profit margin for WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WRI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WRI's net profit margin of 43.98% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • 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. 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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