What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks CBL, LINE, VIV

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."

CBL & Associates Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

CBL & Associates Properties (NYSE: CBL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. is a public real estate investment trust. It engages in acquisition, development, and management of properties. The fund invests in the real estate markets of United States. Its portfolio consists of enclosed malls and open-air centers. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.67.

The average volume for CBL & Associates Properties has been 2,193,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. CBL & Associates Properties has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CBL & Associates Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 82.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $30.31 million to $55.29 million.
  • CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC 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, CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC reported lower earnings of $0.27 versus $0.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.69 versus $0.27).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CBL & ASSOCIATES PPTYS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 30.54%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.75% 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.

Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties. The company's properties are located in Rockies, the Mid-Continent, the Hugoton Basin, California, the Permian Basin, Michigan, Illinois, and East Texas in the United States.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 1,580,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 6.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Linn Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LINE's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 98.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 61.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$221.89 million to -$85.00 million.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC 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, LINN ENERGY LLC reported poor results of -$2.78 versus -$1.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.53 versus -$2.78).
  • LINE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.47% 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.

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

Telefonica Brasil

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE: VIV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Telefonica Brasil S.A. provides fixed-line telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in Brazil. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.48.

The average volume for Telefonica Brasil has been 1,935,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Telefonica Brasil has a market cap of $24.1 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 9.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VIV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.80 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • VIV, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 0.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $563.59 million or 48.95% 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.

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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