What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NKA, NGPC, TCRD

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."

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

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 126,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $580.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.5% 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 3.2%. 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).
  • The gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is currently very high, coming in at 75.18%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.70% trails the industry average.
  • 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.

NGP Capital Resources Company

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

NGP Capital Resources Company (NASDAQ: NGPC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

NGP Capital Resources Company is a business development company specializing in investments in small and mid size and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.33.

The average volume for NGP Capital Resources Company has been 163,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. NGP Capital Resources Company has a market cap of $134.5 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 12.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NGP Capital Resources Company as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NGPC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 111.78% to $3.12 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NGP CAPITAL RESOURCES CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 15.21%.
  • NGP CAPITAL RESOURCES CO has improved earnings per share by 13.9% 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, NGP CAPITAL RESOURCES CO reported lower earnings of $0.19 versus $0.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.44 versus $0.19).
  • In its most recent trading session, NGPC 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. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NGP CAPITAL RESOURCES CO underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of 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.

THL Credit

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

THL Credit (NASDAQ: TCRD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

THL Credit, Inc. is a business development company specializing in direct and fund of fund investments. The fund seeks to invest in debt and equity securities of middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.77.

The average volume for THL Credit has been 389,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. THL Credit has a market cap of $463.8 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 16% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates THL Credit as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 44.9%. 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 gross profit margin for THL CREDIT INC is rather high; currently it is at 65.35%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 52.55% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • THL CREDIT INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, THL CREDIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $1.26 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.6% in earnings ($1.34 versus $1.45).
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, TCRD has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.37% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$83.40 million or 146.63% 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.

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