What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks EDUC, NKA, RSO

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."

Educational Development

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Educational Development (NASDAQ: EDUC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Educational Development Corporation operates as a trade publisher of the line of educational children's books in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.64.

The average volume for Educational Development has been 3,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Educational Development has a market cap of $15.3 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 25% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Educational Development as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 12.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.24%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.44% is above that of the industry average.
  • EDUC's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.04 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 0.99 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • 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 Distributors industry and the overall market, EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORP'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.

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 136,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $554.4 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NKA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 104.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.24 versus -$0.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus -$0.24).
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, NKA maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.75, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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

Resource Capital

Dividend Yield: 13.80%

Resource Capital (NYSE: RSO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.80%.

Resource Capital Corp., a diversified real estate investment trust, primarily focuses on originating, holding, and managing commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate-related debt and equity investments in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.03.

The average volume for Resource Capital has been 1,129,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Resource Capital has a market cap of $748.1 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Resource Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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 exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 36.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.84 million to $17.52 million.
  • RESOURCE CAPITAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 9.1% 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, RESOURCE CAPITAL CORP reported lower earnings of $0.33 versus $0.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.52 versus $0.33).
  • 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, RESOURCE CAPITAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $19.17 million or 17.72% 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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