5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: KFN, NLY, VIP, FTR, EXC

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."

KKR Financial Holdings

Dividend Yield: 6.80%

KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.80%.

KKR Financial Holdings LLC, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company with expertise in a range of asset classes. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.29.

The average volume for KKR Financial Holdings has been 2,403,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. KKR Financial Holdings has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 8.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates KKR Financial Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, 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, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 73.47%. Regardless of KFN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KFN's net profit margin of 28.90% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 64.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $111.96 million to $39.89 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.32 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.

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

Annaly Capital Management

Dividend Yield: 11.80%

Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.80%.

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. owns, manages, and finances a portfolio of real estate related investments in United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.00.

The average volume for Annaly Capital Management has been 15,282,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Annaly Capital Management has a market cap of $9.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Annaly Capital Management as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT is currently very high, coming in at 91.13%. Regardless of NLY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NLY's net profit margin of 29.04% compares favorably to 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has decreased by 14.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $224.76 million to $192.46 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $810.87 million or 77.46% 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.

VimpelCom

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

VimpelCom (NASDAQ: VIP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

VimpelCom Ltd., a telecommunications service operator, provides voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.19.

The average volume for VimpelCom has been 3,213,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. VimpelCom has a market cap of $20.2 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates VimpelCom as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, VIMPELCOM LTD's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and 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 1.90 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, VIP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.85, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,675.00 million or 16.16% 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.

Frontier Communications Corp Class B

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Frontier Communications Corp Class B (NASDAQ: FTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Frontier Communications Corporation, a communications company, provides regulated and unregulated voice, data, and video services to business, residential, and wholesale customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 80.50.

The average volume for Frontier Communications Corp Class B has been 9,220,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Frontier Communications Corp Class B has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Frontier Communications Corp Class B as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 44.90% is the gross profit margin for FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of FTR'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 2.98% trails the industry average.
  • FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP's earnings per share declined by 42.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. However, the consensus estimates suggest that there will be an upward trend in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP's EPS of $0.14 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $0.14. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.23 versus $0.14).
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $67.00 million to $35.40 million.

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

Exelon

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Exelon (NYSE: EXC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in the energy generation and distribution business in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.55.

The average volume for Exelon has been 8,188,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Exelon has a market cap of $23.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exelon as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels 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 and poor profit margins.

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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 149.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $296.00 million to $738.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.93, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.77 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The gross profit margin for EXELON CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.22%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.35% trails the industry average.
  • EXC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.62% from its price level of one year ago. 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.

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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