What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks SMTP, MSB, MARPS

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."

SMTP

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

SMTP (NASDAQ: SMTP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

SMTP, Inc. provides Internet-based services to facilitate email delivery worldwide. It offers services to enable small, medium, and large businesses to outsource the sending of outbound emails. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.70.

The average volume for SMTP has been 25,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. SMTP has a market cap of $23.9 million and is part of the internet industry. Shares are up 339.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates SMTP 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 expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • SMTP 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 2.91, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Internet Software & Services industry average. The net income increased by 1.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $0.31 million to $0.32 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, SMTP INC'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.

Mesabi

Dividend Yield: 10.40%

Mesabi (NYSE: MSB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.40%.

Mesabi Trust operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company produces iron ore pellets. It holds interest in the Peter Mitchell mine located in the Mesabi Iron Range near Babbitt, Minnesota. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.74.

The average volume for Mesabi has been 47,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesabi has a market cap of $286.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 0.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mesabi 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MSB 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.47, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for MESABI TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MSB has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MSB's net profit margin of 96.67% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 46.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $11.62 million to $6.14 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $6.89 million or 52.95% 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.

Marine Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Marine Petroleum (NASDAQ: MARPS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Marine Petroleum Trust, through its subsidiary, Marine Petroleum Corporation, operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.97.

The average volume for Marine Petroleum has been 4,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Marine Petroleum has a market cap of $32.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 16.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marine Petroleum 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 47.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MARPS 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.
  • The gross profit margin for MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MARPS has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MARPS's net profit margin of 96.57% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • In its most recent trading session, MARPS 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.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MARINE PETROLEUM 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.

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