3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: DRI, RPAI, PBF

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."

Darden Restaurants

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates full service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Yard House, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Wildfish Seafood Grille brand names. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.55.

The average volume for Darden Restaurants has been 1,464,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Darden Restaurants has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 13.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Darden Restaurants as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. 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.
  • DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC's earnings per share declined by 39.0% 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. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC reported lower earnings of $1.38 versus $1.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.25 versus $1.38).
  • 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 this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.11, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC's return on equity is below 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.

Retail Properties of America

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Retail Properties of America (NYSE: RPAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. It engages in acquisition, development and management of properties. The trust invests in the real estate markets of United States.

The average volume for Retail Properties of America has been 1,211,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Retail Properties of America has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 20.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Retail Properties of America as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth 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:
  • RPAI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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 851.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.88 million to $14.13 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. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The gross profit margin for RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 27.57%. Regardless of RPAI's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RPAI's net profit margin of 9.54% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC'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.

PBF Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

PBF Energy (NYSE: PBF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

PBF Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the refining and supply of petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.57.

The average volume for PBF Energy has been 1,768,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. PBF Energy has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 13.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PBF Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and attractive valuation levels. 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:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 579.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $11.41 million to $77.44 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.59, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.47 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • The gross profit margin for PBF ENERGY INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 6.95%. Regardless of PBF's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.63% trails the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PBF ENERGY INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below 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.

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