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." LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.30%. 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 1,253,400 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 7.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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:
- 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 18.09, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 269.64% to $93.23 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LINNCO LLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.46%.
- 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.
- The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 6.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$18.22 million to -$19.48 million.
- LNCO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 26.97%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
- You can view the full LinnCo Ratings Report.