What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks KFN, AGNC, PBF

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."

KKR Financial Holdings

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

KKR Financial Holdings (NYSE: KFN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

KKR Financial Holdings LLC, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company with expertise in a range of asset classes. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.04.

The average volume for KKR Financial Holdings has been 1,094,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. KKR Financial Holdings has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates KKR Financial Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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 generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.2%. 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 KKR FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LLC is currently very high, coming in at 74.54%. Regardless of KFN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KFN's net profit margin of 39.50% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income has decreased by 10.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $77.01 million to $68.88 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.38 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

American Capital Agency

Dividend Yield: 11.80%

American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.80%.

American Capital Agency Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company has a P/E ratio of 6.90.

The average volume for American Capital Agency has been 5,221,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Agency has a market cap of $7.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Agency as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP is currently very high, coming in at 130.89%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 81.30% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • AGNC, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 113.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP reported lower earnings of $3.17 versus $4.40 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.4% in earnings ($2.71 versus $3.17).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 112.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $811.00 million to -$100.00 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

PBF Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

PBF Energy (NYSE: PBF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

PBF Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the refining and supply of petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.65.

The average volume for PBF Energy has been 1,067,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. PBF Energy has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PBF Energy as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PBF ENERGY INC 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, PBF ENERGY INC reported lower earnings of $1.35 versus $37.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.07 versus $1.35).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $148.75 million or 56.71% 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 29.62%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 93.90% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.

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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