3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: SPH, PBT, CVRR

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."

Suburban Propane Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.02.

The average volume for Suburban Propane Partners has been 188,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Suburban Propane Partners has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suburban Propane Partners 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 also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.2%. 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.
  • SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $0.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.83 versus $1.45).
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.09, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Gas Utilities industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.92 is weak.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $4.16 million or 93.23% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, SPH has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.46% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

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

Permian Basin Royalty

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Permian Basin Royalty (NYSE: PBT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

Permian Basin Royalty Trust owns overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.11.

The average volume for Permian Basin Royalty has been 112,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Permian Basin Royalty has a market cap of $615.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Permian Basin 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 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 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • PBT 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.25, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • PERMIAN BASIN ROYALTY TRUST has improved earnings per share by 15.0% 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, PERMIAN BASIN ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.87 versus $1.16 in the prior year.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PERMIAN BASIN 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.

CVR Refining

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

CVR Refining (NYSE: CVRR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

CVR Refining, LP operates as a petroleum refiner in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.77.

The average volume for CVR Refining has been 341,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. CVR Refining has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CVR Refining as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, robust 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 unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CVR REFINING LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.0%. 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 share price of CVR REFINING LP has not done very well: it is down 23.88% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter.
  • The gross profit margin for CVR REFINING LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 2.71%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -4.66% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • 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 302.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $54.56 million to -$110.20 million.

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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