What To Hold: 4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NTI, PBF, HCN, KMI

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."

Northern Tier Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Northern Tier Energy (NYSE: NTI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Northern Tier Energy LP operates as an independent downstream energy company with refining, retail, and pipeline operations in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Refining and Retail. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.89.

The average volume for Northern Tier Energy has been 917,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Northern Tier Energy has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northern Tier Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NORTHERN TIER ENERGY LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.8%. 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.
  • NTI's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69 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 0.79 is weak.
  • The gross profit margin for NORTHERN TIER ENERGY LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 3.74%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.01% trails that of the industry average.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 55.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $61.10 million to $27.20 million.

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

PBF Energy Inc Class A

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

PBF Energy Inc Class A (NYSE: PBF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

PBF Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the refining and supply of petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.11.

The average volume for PBF Energy Inc Class A has been 1,027,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. PBF Energy Inc Class A has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 9.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PBF Energy Inc Class A as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • In its most recent trading session, PBF 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.
  • PBF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 0.39, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for PBF ENERGY INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 0.05%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.40% trails 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.

Health Care REIT

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

Health Care REIT, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm engages in acquiring, planning, developing, managing, repositioning and monetizing of real estate assets. It primarily invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 76.64.

The average volume for Health Care REIT has been 1,970,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Health Care REIT has a market cap of $16.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Care REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, 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:
  • HCN's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.6%. 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 slightly increased to $219.17 million or 3.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HEALTH CARE REIT INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 8.56%.
  • HEALTH CARE REIT INC's earnings per share declined by 44.4% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, HEALTH CARE REIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.46 versus $0.34 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.9% in earnings ($0.41 versus $0.46).
  • The gross profit margin for HEALTH CARE REIT INC is rather low; currently it is at 18.93%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.74% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The share price of HEALTH CARE REIT INC has not done very well: it is down 12.15% 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, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

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

Kinder Morgan

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. owns and operates energy transportation and storage assets in the United States and Canada. The company operates in six segments: Natural Gas Pipelines, Products Pipelines KMP, CO2 KMP, Terminals KMP, Kinder Morgan Canada KMP, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.77.

The average volume for Kinder Morgan has been 5,769,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Kinder Morgan has a market cap of $36.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan 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 a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.9%. 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 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 43.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $200.00 million to $286.00 million.
  • 40.15% is the gross profit margin for KINDER MORGAN INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of KMI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KMI's net profit margin of 7.61% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, KMI 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. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.71 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. 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.

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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