What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks TCRD, MSB, MCGC

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."

THL Credit

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

THL Credit, Inc. is a business development company specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The fund seeks to invest in debt and equity securities of middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.92.

The average volume for THL Credit has been 290,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. THL Credit has a market cap of $461.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 16.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates THL Credit as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.9%. 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 THL CREDIT INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.65%. Regardless of TCRD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TCRD's net profit margin of 57.81% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 9.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $9.78 million to $10.69 million.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, TCRD has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.11% 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$66.97 million or 503.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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