3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ACC, NGL, BGCP

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."

American Campus Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

American Campus Communities, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It primarily engages in developing, owning, and managing high-quality student housing communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 66.86.

The average volume for American Campus Communities has been 584,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Campus Communities has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates American Campus Communities as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ACC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $52.21 million or 14.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, AMERICAN CAMPUS COMMUNITIES's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 18.94%.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, AMERICAN CAMPUS COMMUNITIES underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAMPUS COMMUNITIES is rather low; currently it is at 21.08%. Regardless of ACC's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ACC's net profit margin of 7.76% is significantly lower than the industry average.

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NGL Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

NGL Energy Partners (NYSE: NGL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

NGL Energy Partners LP, through its subsidiaries, is primarily engaged in the crude oil logistics, water solutions, liquids, and retail propane businesses in the United States. It operates through Crude Oil Logistics, Water Solutions, Liquids, and Retail Propane segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 166.24.

The average volume for NGL Energy Partners has been 341,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. NGL Energy Partners has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 20.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates NGL Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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:
  • NGL's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 163.3%. 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 its closing price of one year ago, NGL's share price has jumped by 27.91%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • NGL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.91 is weak.
  • The gross profit margin for NGL ENERGY PARTNERS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 3.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.09% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $9.21 million or 64.50% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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BGC Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

BGC Partners (NASDAQ: BGCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

BGC Partners, Inc. operates as a brokerage company, primarily servicing the wholesale financial and commercial real estate markets. It operates through two segments, Financial Services and Real Estate Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.11.

The average volume for BGC Partners has been 1,145,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. BGC Partners has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 29.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates BGC Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BGC PARTNERS INC 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, BGC PARTNERS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.35 versus $0.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.57 versus $0.35).
  • BGCP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, BGCP's share price has jumped by 35.55%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, however, we cannot assume that the stock's past performance is going to drive future results. Quite to the contrary, its sharp appreciation over the last year is one of the factors that should prompt investors to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, BGC PARTNERS INC's return on equity is below 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 77.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $34.47 million to $7.60 million.

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