3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ARCP, FE, LXP

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."

American Realty Capital Properties

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

American Realty Capital Properties (NASDAQ: ARCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

American Realty Capital Properties, Inc. owns and acquires single tenant, freestanding commercial real estate that is net leased on a medium-term basis, primarily to investment grade credit rated and other creditworthy tenants. The company principally invests in retail and office properties.

The average volume for American Realty Capital Properties has been 13,463,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Realty Capital Properties has a market cap of $9.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Realty Capital Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ARCP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 647.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN RLTY CAP PPTY INC has improved earnings per share by 27.4% 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, AMERICAN RLTY CAP PPTY INC reported poor results of -$2.30 versus -$0.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$1.87 versus -$2.30).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN RLTY CAP PPTY INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$106.13 million or 1466.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 118.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$141.16 million to -$308.68 million.

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

FirstEnergy

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy company, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in the United States. The company operates through Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 46.78.

The average volume for FirstEnergy has been 4,049,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.5%. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Electric Utilities industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 6.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $196.00 million to $208.00 million.
  • FIRSTENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 37.0% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $0.90 versus $1.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.50 versus $0.90).
  • The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is rather low; currently it is at 16.69%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.96% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$92.00 million or 284.00% 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.

Lexington Realty

Dividend Yield: 5.80%

Lexington Realty (NYSE: LXP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.80%.

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The company acquires, owns, and manages a portfolio of office, industrial, and retail properties net-leased to corporate tenants in the United States.

The average volume for Lexington Realty has been 1,900,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lexington Realty has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 10.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lexington Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 133.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.62 million to $0.89 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $59.94 million or 4.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 30.47%.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.28%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.78% significantly trails 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.

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