3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: MTR, CCG, FGP

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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 12.50%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.50%.

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 13.68.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 7,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $46.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 19.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.9%. 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.

Campus Crest Communities

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Campus Crest Communities (NYSE: CCG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Campus Crest Communities, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the ownership, development, building, and management of student housing properties under the Grove brand name in the United States.

The average volume for Campus Crest Communities has been 719,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Campus Crest Communities has a market cap of $550.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Campus Crest Communities as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CCG, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES 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, CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.02 versus $0.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.10 versus -$0.02).
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 39.05%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 500.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The gross profit margin for CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 3.00%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -33.46% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$18.00 million or 375.67% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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

Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. distributes and sells propane and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. It transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.14.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 213,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.68 versus -$0.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.84 versus $0.68).
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • The gross profit margin for FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP is rather low; currently it is at 17.38%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.95% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$35.75 million or 191.42% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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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