3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: CTL, BDN, LNCO

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."

CenturyLink

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Consumer, Business, Wholesale, and Data Hosting.

The average volume for CenturyLink has been 5,650,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenturyLink has a market cap of $19.8 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CENTURYLINK INC has improved earnings per share by 10.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, CENTURYLINK INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.43 versus $1.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.56 versus -$0.43).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 1.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTURYLINK INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.86%. Regardless of CTL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CTL's net profit margin of 5.26% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,151.00 million or 16.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, CENTURYLINK INC'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.

Brandywine Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Brandywine Realty (NYSE: BDN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Brandywine Realty Trust is a publically owned real estate investment trust. The firm invests in real estate markets of the United States. It makes investments in office, mixed-use, and industrial properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 73.45.

The average volume for Brandywine Realty has been 1,320,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Brandywine Realty has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST 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, BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.20 versus -$0.36 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 179.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$26.21 million to $20.79 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $37.26 million or 6.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 11.11%.
  • In its most recent trading session, BDN 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. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 20.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.93% trails that of the industry average.

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

LinnCo

Dividend Yield: 10.40%

LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.40%.

LinnCo, LLC, through its limited liability company interests in Linn Energy, LLC, focuses on the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The average volume for LinnCo has been 1,352,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. LinnCo has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 9.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates LinnCo as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LNCO 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. To add to this, LNCO has a quick ratio of 2.22, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for LINNCO LLC is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. LNCO has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LNCO's net profit margin of 330.80% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LINNCO LLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 33.75%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 3075.40% 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 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 4480.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $21.16 million to -$926.97 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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