What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks APTS, LGCY, RNO

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: 7.60%

Preferred Apartment Communities (AMEX: APTS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

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 62,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Preferred Apartment Communities has a market cap of $137.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 90.8%. 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 62.49%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.07% 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 -$2.02 versus -$0.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.43 versus -$2.02).
  • APTS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.29% 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.
  • 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. 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.

Legacy Reserves

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Legacy Reserves (NASDAQ: LGCY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Legacy Reserves LP owns and operates oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Legacy Reserves has been 211,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Legacy Reserves has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legacy Reserves as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.8%. 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 107.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$6.71 million to $0.53 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $60.17 million or 8.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LEGACY RESERVES LP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 17.08%.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.87 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, LGCY has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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, LEGACY RESERVES LP'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.

Rhino Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

Rhino Resource Partners LP, together with its subsidiaries, produces, processes, and sells various grades of steam and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 77.00.

The average volume for Rhino Resource Partners has been 76,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rhino Resource Partners has a market cap of $218.4 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 16.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rhino Resource Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and disappointing return on equity.

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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 74614.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.18 million to $131.89 million.
  • RNO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that RNO's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.64, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The share price of RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has not done very well: it is down 7.58% 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. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $0.33 versus $1.42 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 160.6% in earnings (-$0.20 versus $0.33).

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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