What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks APTS, ATAI, LRE

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."

Preferred Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Preferred Apartment Communities (AMEX: APTS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Preferred Apartment Communities, Inc. is a real estate investment trust launched and managed by Preferred Apartment Advisors, LLC. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily acquires and operates multifamily apartment properties.

The average volume for Preferred Apartment Communities has been 70,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Preferred Apartment Communities has a market cap of $147.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Preferred Apartment Communities as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • APTS's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 57.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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.
  • PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS reported poor results of -$2.02 versus -$0.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.40 versus -$2.02).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS 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.

ATA

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

ATA (NASDAQ: ATAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

ATA Inc. provides computer-based testing services in the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.75.

The average volume for ATA has been 18,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. ATA has a market cap of $109.5 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 18.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. 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.
  • ATA INC -ADS has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from 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, ATA INC -ADS increased its bottom line by earning $0.19 versus $0.16 in the prior year.
  • The share price of ATA INC -ADS has not done very well: it is down 6.31% 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.

LRR Energy

Dividend Yield: 10.80%

LRR Energy (NYSE: LRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.80%.

LRR Energy, L.P., through its subsidiary, LRE Operating, LLC, operates, acquires, exploits, and develops producing oil and natural gas properties in North America.

The average volume for LRR Energy has been 104,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. LRR Energy has a market cap of $362.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates LRR Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 46.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • LRR ENERGY LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, LRR ENERGY LP reported poor results of -$1.90 versus $0.00 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.01 versus -$1.90).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, LRE's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.26, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LRR ENERGY LP'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.

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