3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: VGR, PKY, BMO

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."

Vector Group

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Vector Group (NYSE: VGR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Vector Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. The company operates through Tobacco and Real Estate segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 53.00.

The average volume for Vector Group has been 1,285,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vector Group has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 25.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vector Group 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 find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for VECTOR GROUP LTD is rather high; currently it is at 55.89%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 34.95% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • VECTOR GROUP LTD 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. During the past fiscal year, VECTOR GROUP LTD increased its bottom line by earning $0.33 versus $0.29 in the prior year.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 357.61% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 33.79% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment 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.

Parkway Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Parkway Properties (NYSE: PKY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Parkway Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the operation, acquisition, ownership, management, and leasing of office properties. It operates and invests principally in office properties in the southeastern and southwestern United States and Chicago.

The average volume for Parkway Properties has been 566,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Parkway Properties has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Parkway Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PARKWAY PROPERTIES 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. During the past fiscal year, PARKWAY PROPERTIES INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.58 versus -$1.57 in the prior year.
  • The gross profit margin for PARKWAY PROPERTIES INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.71%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PKY's net profit margin of -10.86% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9.08 million or 190.58% 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.

Bank of Montreal

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Bank of Montreal provides various retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services in Canada, the United States, and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.23.

The average volume for Bank of Montreal has been 404,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Bank of Montreal has a market cap of $44.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of Montreal as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for BANK OF MONTREAL is currently very high, coming in at 84.49%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 19.91% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 2.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,018.00 million to $1,048.00 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BANK OF MONTREAL has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $9,269.00 million or 13.01% 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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