What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks MAA, IEP, PMT

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."

Mid-America Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 169.17.

The average volume for Mid-America Apartment Communities has been 472,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-America Apartment Communities has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 17% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-America 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 increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MAA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 88.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.33%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.72% significantly trails 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.

Icahn

Dividend Yield: 5.70%

Icahn (NASDAQ: IEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.70%.

Icahn Enterprises L.P. is engaged in the investment, automotive, energy, metals, railcar, gaming, food packaging, real estate, and home fashion businesses in the United States and Internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.55.

The average volume for Icahn has been 100,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Icahn has a market cap of $12.4 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are down 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, IEP's share price has jumped by 38.54%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP 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 reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP increased its bottom line by earning $8.98 versus $3.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.41 versus $8.98).
  • The gross profit margin for ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP is rather low; currently it is at 20.18%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.58% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$802.00 million or 2056.09% 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.

PennyMac Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 11.10%

PennyMac Mortgage Investment (NYSE: PMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.10%.

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, a specialty finance company, through its subsidiaries, invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets. The company operates through two segments, Correspondent Lending and Investment Activities. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.29.

The average volume for PennyMac Mortgage Investment has been 632,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. PennyMac Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PennyMac Mortgage Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR is rather high; currently it is at 65.82%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 39.29% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • PMT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR's earnings per share declined by 44.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR reported lower earnings of $3.02 versus $3.08 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 22.1% in earnings ($2.35 versus $3.02).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 28.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $53.30 million to $37.87 million.

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null

More from Markets

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on How to Navigate the Stock Market Amid Tariff Worries

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on How to Navigate the Stock Market Amid Tariff Worries

Global Markets Hit Hard; AMC Entertainment Sells Stake in Ad Unit -- ICYMI

Global Markets Hit Hard; AMC Entertainment Sells Stake in Ad Unit -- ICYMI

CVS, Walgreens and Citigroup: Cramer's 'Off the Charts'

CVS, Walgreens and Citigroup: Cramer's 'Off the Charts'

Jim Cramer: 4 Stocks Could Get Throttled By a 'Knock Down Drag Out' With China

Jim Cramer: 4 Stocks Could Get Throttled By a 'Knock Down Drag Out' With China

General Electric Booted From Dow, Replaced by Walgreens

General Electric Booted From Dow, Replaced by Walgreens