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."Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%. Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.46. The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 456,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 12% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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.
- SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD has improved earnings per share by 5.3% 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, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.01 versus $2.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.28 versus $1.01).
- 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD'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 $37.06 million or 45.49% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
- You can view the full Ship Finance International Ratings Report.
- The gross profit margin for NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 89.56%. Regardless of NRP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NRP's net profit margin of 46.22% significantly outperformed against the industry.
- NRP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 30.38%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 32.55% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 31.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $47.91 million to $32.61 million.
- Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, NRP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.83, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- You can view the full Natural Resources Partners Ratings Report.
- NRT 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 the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.01, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. NRT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NRT's net profit margin of 96.14% significantly outperformed against the industry.
- In its most recent trading session, NRT has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
- NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR's earnings per share declined by 12.5% 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. During the past fiscal year, NORTH EUROPEAN OIL RTY TR reported lower earnings of $2.26 versus $2.46 in the prior year.
- You can view the full North European Oil Royalty Ratings Report.
- Our dividend calendar.