3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: DCIX, MTR, MMLP

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 which could 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."

Diana Containerships

Dividend Yield: 15.70%

Diana Containerships (NASDAQ: DCIX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.70%.

Diana Containerships Inc., a shipping company, owns and operates containerships. It is involved in the seaborne transportation activities. As of August 23, 2013, its fleet consisted of nine container vessels comprising one Post-Panamax and eight Panamax vessels.

The average volume for Diana Containerships has been 235,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Diana Containerships has a market cap of $129.5 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Diana Containerships 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 deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.9%. 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 DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC is rather high; currently it is at 51.68%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -127.62% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $9.67 million or 40.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 70.49%.
  • 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 Marine industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 7400.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.27 million to -$19.78 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 Marine industry and the overall market, DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC'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.

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 10.20%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

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 13.53.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 7,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $45.1 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 15.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.8%. 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.
  • 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.
  • MESA ROYALTY TRUST has improved earnings per share by 27.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MESA ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $1.93 versus $2.96 in the prior year.
  • 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.

Martin Midstream Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Martin Midstream Partners L.P (NASDAQ: MMLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Martin Midstream Partners L.P. collects, transports, stores, and markets petroleum products and by-products in the United States Gulf Coast region.

The average volume for Martin Midstream Partners L.P has been 74,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Martin Midstream Partners L.P has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Martin Midstream Partners L.P as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock performance, considering both the consistency and magnitude of the price movement over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity 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. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • MMLP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.49 versus $1.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.51 versus -$0.49).
  • 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, MARTIN MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 430.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $11.87 million to -$39.26 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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