3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: DLR, SQM, AGNC

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

Digital Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.60%

Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.60%.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), through its controlling interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P., engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related real estate. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.05.

The average volume for Digital Realty has been 1,822,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Digital Realty has a market cap of $6.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 28.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Digital 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 also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DLR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • DIGITAL REALTY TRUST 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, DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.98 versus $1.47).
  • DLR's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 33.06%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The gross profit margin for DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC is rather low; currently it is at 22.86%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 39.47% has significantly outperformed against 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.

Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile (NYSE: SQM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Chemical and Mining Company of Chile Inc. engages in the production and distribution of specialty plant nutrients, iodine and its derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride and potassium sulfate, industrial chemicals, and other commodity fertilizers. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.78.

The average volume for Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile has been 743,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 56.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $179.68 million or 6.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.83%.
  • 39.06% is the gross profit margin for SOC QUIMICA Y MINERA DE CHI 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, SQM's net profit margin of 26.65% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SQM's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79 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. Despite the fact that SQM's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.66 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Looking at the price performance of SQM's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 60.54%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • 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 Chemicals industry. The net income has decreased by 15.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $165.18 million to $138.91 million.

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

American Capital Agency

Dividend Yield: 13.10%

American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.10%.

American Capital Agency Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company has a P/E ratio of 3.24.

The average volume for American Capital Agency has been 7,214,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Agency has a market cap of $7.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 30.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Agency as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels 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, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • AGNC, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 124.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 915.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $86.00 million to -$701.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $472.00 million or 20.93% 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.

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