What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NKA, CCG, WHF

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."

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 168,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $567.6 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. 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.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS 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. 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, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.63 versus -$2.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.53 versus -$0.63).
  • NKA, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 65.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.41 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, NKA has a quick ratio of 0.54, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 228.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $10.42 million to -$13.41 million.

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

Campus Crest Communities

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Campus Crest Communities (NYSE: CCG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Campus Crest Communities, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the ownership, development, building, and management of student housing properties under the Grove brand name in the United States.

The average volume for Campus Crest Communities has been 685,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Campus Crest Communities has a market cap of $555.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Campus Crest Communities as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its very decent return on equity which we feel should persist. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CCG, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 8.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 20.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC 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, CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.02 versus $0.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.10 versus -$0.02).
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 36.97%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 500.00% 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 gross profit margin for CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 3.00%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -33.46% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$18.00 million or 375.67% 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.

WhiteHorse Finance

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

WhiteHorse Finance (NASDAQ: WHF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

Whitehorse Finance, LLC is a fund of HIG Capital LLC. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.05.

The average volume for WhiteHorse Finance has been 49,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. WhiteHorse Finance has a market cap of $202.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates WhiteHorse Finance as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WHITEHORSE FINANCE INC 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 improved to $10.97 million from having none in the same quarter last year. Since the company had no net operating cash flow for the prior period, we cannot calculate a percent change in order to compare its growth rate with that of its industry average.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, WHF has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.04% from its price level of one year ago.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 10.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 45.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has decreased by 20.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $7.97 million to $6.34 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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