3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: VIV, HIW, ARCP

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."

Telefonica Brasil

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE: VIV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Telefonica Brasil S.A. provides fixed-line telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in Brazil. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.48.

The average volume for Telefonica Brasil has been 1,606,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Telefonica Brasil has a market cap of $23.0 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Telefonica Brasil as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for TELEFONICA BRASIL SA is rather high; currently it is at 61.79%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.67% trails the industry average.
  • VIV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 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 0.82 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA'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 $563.62 million or 48.95% 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.

If you liked this article you might like

Vivendi and Sony Will be Winners As Music Streaming Takes Off Says Goldman Sachs

Trader's Daily Notebook: Is a Battered Brazil Worth a Buy?

Sense of the Markets: Bollore Only Evident Winner in Vivendi's Havas Bid

Universal Music Keeps Vivendi on Song