What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NTI, LINE, BDN

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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Northern Tier Energy

Dividend Yield: 6.70%

Northern Tier Energy (NYSE: NTI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.70%.

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 7.68.

The average volume for Northern Tier Energy has been 608,200 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 down 0.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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 3.3%. 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.

Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 1,722,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $7.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 6.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Linn Energy 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 generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LINE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 923.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the 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 93.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$430.01 million to -$30.06 million.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC 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, LINN ENERGY LLC swung to a loss, reporting -$1.86 versus $2.21 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.07 versus -$1.86).
  • LINE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.34% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61 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 this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.46, 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.

Brandywine Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Brandywine Realty (NYSE: BDN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

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 company has a P/E ratio of 72.70.

The average volume for Brandywine Realty has been 1,058,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Brandywine Realty has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Brandywine Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 179.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$26.21 million to $20.79 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 20.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.93% significantly trails 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.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null

More from Markets

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

Dow Rises Sharply as U.S.-China Trade Tensions Thaw

To Win at Trade the U.S. Must Act and Behave Like China

To Win at Trade the U.S. Must Act and Behave Like China

Video: Jim Cramer on Tariffs, the Market Rally, Caterpillar and Micron

Video: Jim Cramer on Tariffs, the Market Rally, Caterpillar and Micron

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

Apple Shares Gain as U.S. and China Call Off Trade War, For Now

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec

GE Confirms $11.1 Billion Transportation Merger With Wabtec