3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, ATAI, RAS

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."

America First Multifamily Investors

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

America First Multifamily Investors (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

America First Multifamily Investors, L.P. acquires, holds, sells, and deals in a portfolio of mortgage revenue bonds that have been issued to provide construction and/or permanent financing of multifamily residential apartments. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.41.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 116,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $364.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 3.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates America First Multifamily Investors as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ATAX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. 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 AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP is currently very high, coming in at 84.09%. Regardless of ATAX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATAX's net profit margin of 45.80% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP's earnings per share declined by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.34 versus $0.09 in the prior year.
  • The share price of AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP has not done very well: it is down 9.71% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $8.32 million to $6.05 million.

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

ATA

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

ATA (NASDAQ: ATAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

ATA Inc. provides computer-based testing services in the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.00.

The average volume for ATA has been 15,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. ATA has a market cap of $101.4 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates ATA as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ATAI 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 this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.97, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for ATA INC -ADS is rather high; currently it is at 58.58%. 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 -29.03% is in-line with the industry average.
  • The share price of ATA INC -ADS has not done very well: it is down 10.00% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 139.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.97 million to -$2.33 million.

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

Rait Financial

Dividend Yield: 8.80%

Rait Financial (NYSE: RAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.80%.

RAIT Financial Trust operates as a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The company, through its subsidiaries, invests in, manages, and services real estate-related assets with a focus on commercial real estate.

The average volume for Rait Financial has been 654,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rait Financial has a market cap of $669.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rait Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RAS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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 89.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$85.31 million to -$8.78 million.
  • 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.
  • 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, RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 15.88%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -11.78% is significantly below that of 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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