3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: MTR, EVEP, DX

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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 10.90%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.90%.

Mesa Royalty Trust holds net overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas producing properties in the United States. It has interests in properties located in the Hugoton field of Kansas; the San Juan Basin field of New Mexico and Colorado; and the Yellow Creek field of Wyoming. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.65.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 7,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $42.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mesa Royalty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MTR has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 6.53, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for MESA ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MTR has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MTR's net profit margin of 96.29% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • In its most recent trading session, MTR 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.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MESA ROYALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds 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.

EV Energy Partner

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

EV Energy Partner (NASDAQ: EVEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for EV Energy Partner has been 290,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partner has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.5%. 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 75.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$50.02 million to -$12.31 million.
  • The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 63.11%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -15.12% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, EVEP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.93, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails 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.

Dynex Capital

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

Dynex Capital, Inc., a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in mortgage assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.68.

The average volume for Dynex Capital has been 379,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Dynex Capital has a market cap of $459.9 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dynex Capital 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 net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for DYNEX CAPITAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 93.76%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 73.71% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 10.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $19.55 million to $21.56 million.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DYNEX CAPITAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • DX has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 19.33% 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.

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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