5 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: SUNS, SFL, FGP, INTX, NKA

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."

Solar Senior Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ: SUNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Solar Senior Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged, middle-market companies in the United States. The fund invests in the form of senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.86.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 39,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $205.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Senior Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 15.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.5%. 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 SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 73.06%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 52.98% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, SUNS 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.

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

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 9.40%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.40%.

Ship Finance International Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.46.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 514,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International 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, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 59.98%. Regardless of SFL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFL's net profit margin of 19.77% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SFL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, SFL 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. 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 debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, SFL has a quick ratio of 0.50, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of 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.

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. distributes and sells propane and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.69.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 174,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 15.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.4%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FGP's share price has jumped by 28.24%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.44%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -5.98% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$34.41 million or 449.96% 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.

Intersections

Dividend Yield: 11.20%

Intersections (NASDAQ: INTX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.20%.

Intersections Inc. provides consumer identity risk management services in the United States. Its services help consumers understand and monitor their credit profiles and other personal information, and protect themselves against identity theft or fraud. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.74.

The average volume for Intersections has been 95,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Intersections has a market cap of $129.8 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intersections as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • INTX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTX has a quick ratio of 1.56, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for INTERSECTIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 64.86%. Regardless of INTX'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 -1.95% trails the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.13%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 126.66% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • 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 Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 126.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $5.66 million to -$1.49 million.

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

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 63,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $554.2 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.63 versus -$2.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.85 versus -$0.63).
  • NKA, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 65.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.18%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -51.88% is significantly below 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 228.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $10.42 million to -$13.41 million.

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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