3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: BTE, EDR, PDM

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."

Baytex Energy

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

Baytex Energy (NYSE: BTE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

Baytex Energy Corp., an oil and gas company, is engaged in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the United States. The company offers heavy oil, light oil, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.47.

The average volume for Baytex Energy has been 241,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Baytex Energy has a market cap of $7.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Baytex Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.5%. 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 BAYTEX ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.13%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 10.10% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 1.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $36.19 million to $36.80 million.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, BAYTEX ENERGY CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • BAYTEX ENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 6.9% 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. During the past fiscal year, BAYTEX ENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $1.32 versus $2.14 in the prior year.

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Education Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Education Realty (NYSE: EDR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Education Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, acquires, owns, and manages student housing communities located near university campuses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 216.80.

The average volume for Education Realty has been 2,286,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Education Realty has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 23.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Education Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that net income has been generally deteriorating over time.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.4%. 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.
  • This stock has managed to rise its share value by 23.01% over the past twelve months. 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.
  • EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC's earnings have gone downhill when comparing its most recently reported quarter with the same quarter a year earlier. 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, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.06 versus -$0.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.10 versus $0.06).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 329.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.83 million to -$8.81 million.

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Piedmont Office Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Piedmont Office Realty (NYSE: PDM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. engages in the acquisition and ownership of commercial real estate properties in the United States. Its property portfolio primarily consists of office and industrial buildings, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 57.91.

The average volume for Piedmont Office Realty has been 781,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Piedmont Office Realty has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 18.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Piedmont Office Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.9%. 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.
  • 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.
  • The gross profit margin for PIEDMONT OFFICE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 18.75%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.90% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $38.84 million or 14.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly 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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