What To Hold: 5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks WGL, WIN, FE, BDN, SID

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."

WGL Holdings

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

WGL Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, sells and delivers natural gas, and provides energy-related products and services. The company operates in four segments: Regulated Utility, Retail Energy-Marketing, Commercial Energy Systems, and Midstream Energy Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.56.

The average volume for WGL Holdings has been 349,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. WGL Holdings has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates WGL Holdings 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$68.35 million or 31.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, WGL HOLDINGS INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 56.13%.
  • In its most recent trading session, WGL 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, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, WGL HOLDINGS INC'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.

Windstream Holdings

Dividend Yield: 13.30%

Windstream Holdings (NASDAQ: WIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.30%.

Windstream Holdings, Inc. provides communications and technology solutions in the United States. The company offers managed services and cloud computing services to businesses, as well as broadband, voice, and video services to consumers primarily in rural markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.90.

The average volume for Windstream Holdings has been 6,827,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Windstream Holdings has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Windstream Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk.

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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $448.10 million or 10.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.58%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 10.35 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, WIN has a quick ratio of 0.50, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The share price of WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC has not done very well: it is down 21.26% 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, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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

FirstEnergy

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 128.67.

The average volume for FirstEnergy has been 5,232,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $12.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 7.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FIRSTENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $1.81 versus $2.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.00 versus $1.81).
  • 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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 48.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $425.00 million to $218.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.54%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.42% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $1,178.00 million or 2.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, FIRSTENERGY CORP 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.

Brandywine Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Brandywine Realty (NYSE: BDN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Brandywine Realty Trust is a publically owned real estate investment trust. The firm invests in real estate markets of the United States. It makes investments in office, mixed-use, and industrial properties.

The average volume for Brandywine Realty has been 946,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Brandywine Realty has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Brandywine Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 gross profit margin for BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 21.62%. Regardless of BDN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BDN's net profit margin of 7.60% is significantly lower than 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 significantly decreased by 34.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $16.83 million to $10.98 million.

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

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE: SID) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional operates as an integrated steel producer primarily in Brazil. The company principally produces carbon steel and various steel products for automotive, home appliance, packaging, construction, and steel processing industries.

The average volume for Companhia Siderurgica Nacional has been 5,799,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Companhia Siderurgica Nacional has a market cap of $6.9 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 22.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Companhia Siderurgica Nacional as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA NACION's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA NACION reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, COMPANHIA SIDERURGICA NACION swung to a loss, reporting -$0.14 versus $1.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.93 versus -$0.14).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.67 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, SID has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.09, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $272.23 million or 32.78% 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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