What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks APTS, SUNS, TCRD

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."

Preferred Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 7.80%

Preferred Apartment Communities (AMEX: APTS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.80%.

Preferred Apartment Communities, Inc. is a real estate investment trust launched and managed by Preferred Apartment Advisors, LLC. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily acquires and operates multifamily apartment properties.

The average volume for Preferred Apartment Communities has been 63,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Preferred Apartment Communities has a market cap of $125.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Preferred Apartment Communities as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • APTS's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 474.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS is rather high; currently it is at 60.26%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 26.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS reported poor results of -$2.00 versus -$0.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.09 versus -$2.00).
  • APTS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 10.97% 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.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS'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.

Solar Senior Capital

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ: SUNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Solar Senior Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged, middle-market companies in the United States. The fund invests in the form of senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.74.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 50,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $188.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 10.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Senior Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. 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:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 645.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.76 million to $5.63 million.
  • The gross profit margin for SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 72.43%. Regardless of SUNS's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SUNS's net profit margin of 99.48% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.11 versus $1.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.30 versus $1.11).
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$27.11 million or 235.03% 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.

THL Credit

Dividend Yield: 10.30%

THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%.

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 9.36.

The average volume for THL Credit has been 292,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. THL Credit has a market cap of $447.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 20.6% 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 notable return on equity. 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 7.9%. 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 return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, THL CREDIT INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 10.96% 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.

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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