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." Windstream Holdings (NASDAQ: WIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.60%. 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 20.36. The average volume for Windstream Holdings has been 7,399,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Windstream Holdings has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 0.5% 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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.39 versus $0.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.41 versus $0.39).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 1084.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.00 million to $118.40 million.
- The gross profit margin for WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC is rather high; currently it is at 59.42%. 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 7.93% trails the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $358.70 million or 32.82% 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.
- WIN has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.76% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
- You can view the full Windstream Holdings Ratings Report.