Don't Miss Out: Top 4 Yielding Hold-Rated Stocks: LINE, APL, CBL, MEMP

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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

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 2,247,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 13.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 23.37% 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.

Atlas Pipeline Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Atlas Pipeline Partners (NYSE: APL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Atlas Pipeline Partners, L.P. operates in the gathering and processing segments of the midstream natural gas industry. The company operates in two segments, Gathering and Processing; and Transportation, Treating, and Other.

The average volume for Atlas Pipeline Partners has been 442,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Pipeline Partners has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atlas Pipeline Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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:
  • APL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 97.2%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $79.40 million or 30.18% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.02%.
  • APL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73 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 0.80 is weak.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNER LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNER LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.51%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -4.67% is significantly below 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.

CBL & Associates Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

CBL & Associates Properties (NYSE: CBL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. is a public real estate investment trust. It engages in acquisition, development, and management of properties. The fund invests in the real estate markets of United States. Its portfolio consists of enclosed malls and open-air centers. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.58.

The average volume for CBL & Associates Properties has been 1,609,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. CBL & Associates Properties has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 15.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CBL & Associates Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC 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, CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.60 versus $0.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.66 versus $0.60).
  • 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 325.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8.07 million to $34.32 million.
  • 38.40% is the gross profit margin for CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of CBL'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 13.22% trails the industry average.
  • CBL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.49% 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.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC'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.

Memorial Production Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.20%

Memorial Production Partners (NASDAQ: MEMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.20%.

Memorial Production Partners LP, through its subsidiary, Memorial Production Operating LLC, engages in the acquisition, development, exploitation, and production of oil and natural gas properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 116.06.

The average volume for Memorial Production Partners has been 697,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Memorial Production Partners has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

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 38.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 256.66% to $52.36 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.02%.
  • MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP has improved earnings per share by 14.2% 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, MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.01 versus $0.30 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.73 versus -$0.01).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 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 0.47, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PRTRS LP'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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