What To Hold: 5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NPD, MCEP, EFC, DX, PDH

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."

China Nepstar Chain Drugstore

Dividend Yield: 16.00%

China Nepstar Chain Drugstore (NYSE: NPD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 16.00%.

China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates a retail drugstore chain that sells a range of pharmaceutical and other healthcare products in the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.86.

The average volume for China Nepstar Chain Drugstore has been 136,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. China Nepstar Chain Drugstore has a market cap of $185.6 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are up 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates China Nepstar Chain Drugstore 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 stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • NPD 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.24, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 42.40% is the gross profit margin for CHINA NEPSTAR CHAIN DRUG-ADS which we consider to be strong. Regardless of NPD'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 -0.67% trails the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, CHINA NEPSTAR CHAIN DRUG-ADS's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below 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 when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 358.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.29 million to -$0.76 million.

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

Mid-Con Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Mid-Con Energy Partners (NASDAQ: MCEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Mid-Con Energy Partners, LP engages in the acquisition, exploitation, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.33.

The average volume for Mid-Con Energy Partners has been 79,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-Con Energy Partners has a market cap of $441.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-Con Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MCEP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 59.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MID-CON ENERGY PARTNERS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 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, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, MCEP's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.32, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $12.90 million or 3.72% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, MID-CON ENERGY PARTNERS -LP has marginally lower results.

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

Ellington Financial

Dividend Yield: 13.40%

Ellington Financial (NYSE: EFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.40%.

Ellington Financial LLC, a specialty finance company, acquires and manages mortgage-related assets, including residential mortgage backed securities backed by prime jumbo, Alt-A, manufactured housing and subprime residential mortgage loans, and residential mortgage-backed securities. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.92.

The average volume for Ellington Financial has been 128,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ellington Financial has a market cap of $585.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ellington Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • EFC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 56.0%. 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 ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC is currently very high, coming in at 73.47%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 48.72% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$52.04 million or 130.62% 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, 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 60.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $29.54 million to $11.73 million.

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

Dynex Capital

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

Dynex Capital, Inc., a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in mortgage assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.36.

The average volume for Dynex Capital has been 346,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dynex Capital has a market cap of $432.7 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dynex Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $56.02 million or 49.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.55%.
  • The gross profit margin for DYNEX CAPITAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.51%. Regardless of DX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, DX's net profit margin of -14.64% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • The share price of DYNEX CAPITAL INC has not done very well: it is down 18.55% 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. 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, 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 124.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $19.17 million to -$4.63 million.

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

PetroLogistics

Dividend Yield: 15.60%

PetroLogistics (NYSE: PDH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.60%.

PetroLogistics LP owns and operates propane dehydrogenation facility that processes propane into propylene in North America. It sells propylene, hydrogen, and C4 mix/C5+ streams to Petrochemical and Chemical companies. PetroLogistics LP has partnership with PetroLogistics GP LLC. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.93.

The average volume for PetroLogistics has been 280,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. PetroLogistics has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PetroLogistics as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, PETROLOGISTICS LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • PDH's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98 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 PDH's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.69 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • This stock's share value has moved by only 17.19% over the past year. 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.

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