What To Hold: 5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks MTR, SFL, RNO, RAS, MARPS

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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

Mesa Royalty Trust holds net overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas producing properties in the United States. It has interests in properties located in the Hugoton field of Kansas; the San Juan Basin field of New Mexico and Colorado; and the Yellow Creek field of Wyoming. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.46.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 4,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $38.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 6.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mesa 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 has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

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 rose by 24.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MTR 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 6.53, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for MESA ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MTR has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MTR's net profit margin of 96.29% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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, MESA ROYALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, MTR 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. 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.

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

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

Ship Finance International Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.10.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 562,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International 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, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 59.98%. Regardless of SFL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFL's net profit margin of 19.77% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SFL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD 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 reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $1.61 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 53.1% in earnings ($1.06 versus $2.26).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, SFL has a quick ratio of 0.50, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD'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.

Rhino Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 17.50%

Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.50%.

Rhino Resource Partners LP, together with its subsidiaries, produces, processes, and sells various grades of steam and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.16.

The average volume for Rhino Resource Partners has been 77,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rhino Resource Partners has a market cap of $169.7 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 25.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rhino Resource Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, 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:
  • RNO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 24.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.44%. Regardless of RNO's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.04% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $11.15 million or 54.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The share price of RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has not done very well: it is down 19.91% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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

Rait Financial

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Rait Financial (NYSE: RAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

RAIT Financial Trust operates as a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The company, through its subsidiaries, invests in, manages, and services real estate-related assets with a focus on commercial real estate.

The average volume for Rait Financial has been 743,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rait Financial has a market cap of $598.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 50.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rait Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RAS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 35.13% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 52.32% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST has improved earnings per share by 35.1% 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, RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST reported poor results of -$3.92 versus -$1.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.61 versus -$3.92).
  • The gross profit margin for RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 20.78%. Regardless of RAS's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RAS's net profit margin of -16.59% significantly underperformed when compared to 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RAIT FINANCIAL 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.

Marine Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Marine Petroleum (NASDAQ: MARPS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Marine Petroleum Trust, through its subsidiary, Marine Petroleum Corporation, operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.37.

The average volume for Marine Petroleum has been 2,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Marine Petroleum has a market cap of $31.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 14.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marine Petroleum 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 growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

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 rose by 19.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MARPS 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.
  • 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.
  • MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST has improved earnings per share by 9.1% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST reported lower earnings of $1.36 versus $1.92 in the prior year.
  • 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, MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST'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.

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