5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: VLCCF, SUNS, AB, NKA, VOC

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."

Knightsbridge Tankers

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Knightsbridge Tankers (NASDAQ: VLCCF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Knightsbridge Tankers Limited, a shipping company, engages in the seaborne transportation of crude oil and dry bulk cargoes worldwide. As of December 31, 2012, it owned and operated one very large crude carrier and four Capesize dry bulk carriers.

The average volume for Knightsbridge Tankers has been 409,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Knightsbridge Tankers has a market cap of $211.2 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 64.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Knightsbridge Tankers as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 101.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$57.01 million to $1.01 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • The gross profit margin for KNIGHTSBRIDGE TANKERS LTD is rather high; currently it is at 57.25%. Regardless of VLCCF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VLCCF's net profit margin of 10.13% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $3.64 million or 64.98% 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 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, KNIGHTSBRIDGE TANKERS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Solar Senior Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ: SUNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Solar Senior Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged, middle-market companies in the United States. The fund invests in the form of senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.46.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 32,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $210.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Senior Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SUNS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.5%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 73.06%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 52.98% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 263.69% to $13.70 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 269.25%.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 31.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.81 million to $2.60 million.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.

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AllianceBernstein Holding L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (NYSE: AB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. provides investment management and related services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.79.

The average volume for AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has been 402,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 23.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AllianceBernstein Holding L.P as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AB's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 307.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The strong earnings growth this company has enjoyed -- up -- has apparently played a role in driving up its share price by a solid 27.69%. In addition, the rise in the general market has likely contributed to this stock's strong performance during this past year.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.
  • The gross profit margin for ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. AB has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AB's net profit margin of 85.56% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 83.01% to $40.48 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 83.01%, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 269.25%.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP'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.

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 111.92.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 59,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $507.9 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 38.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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.

VOC Energy

Dividend Yield: 13.90%

VOC Energy (NYSE: VOC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.90%.

VOC Energy Trust acquires and holds a term net profits interest of the net proceeds from production of the interests in oil and natural gas properties in the states of Kansas and Texas. It owns an 80% term net profits interest of the net proceeds on the underlying properties.

The average volume for VOC Energy has been 85,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. VOC Energy has a market cap of $258.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates VOC Energy 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, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VOC 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 gross profit margin for VOC ENERGY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. VOC has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VOC's net profit margin of 95.27% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
  • 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 other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, VOC ENERGY TRUST has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded 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 against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 31.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $10.20 million to $6.97 million.

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

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