What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NSLP, HGT, EVEP

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."

New Source Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

New Source Energy Partners (NYSE: NSLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

New Source Energy Partners L.P. engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. As of June 30, 2012, the company had 89,116 gross acres in the Golden Lane field in east-central Oklahoma; and 127 gross proved undeveloped drilling locations.

The average volume for New Source Energy Partners has been 28,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Source Energy Partners has a market cap of $239.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New Source Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and compelling growth 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:
  • NSLP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 99.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW SOURCE ENERGY PRTRS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • 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. 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.
  • NEW SOURCE ENERGY PRTRS LP 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 year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEW SOURCE ENERGY PRTRS LP increased its bottom line by earning $2.92 versus $0.14 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 63.4% in earnings ($1.07 versus $2.92).
  • NSLP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.05 is sturdy.

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

Hugoton Royalty

Dividend Yield: 13.40%

Hugoton Royalty (NYSE: HGT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.40%.

Hugoton Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company holds an 80% net profits interests in certain natural gas producing working interest properties of XTO Energy Inc. XTO Energy Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.16.

The average volume for Hugoton Royalty has been 172,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hugoton Royalty has a market cap of $314.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hugoton 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 notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HGT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 119.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HGT 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 HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. HGT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HGT's net profit margin of 95.01% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, HUGOTON ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.58 versus $1.40 in the prior year.
  • HGT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.07% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

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

EV Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

EV Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EVEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. is engaged in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream.

The average volume for EV Energy Partners has been 211,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partners has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates EV Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.1%. 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.
  • EVEP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.02 is sturdy.
  • EV ENERGY 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.69 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.45 versus -$1.69).
  • 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 408.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$9.88 million to -$50.19 million.
  • 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP'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.

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