What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks WMB, WRE, HCLP

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."

Williams Companies

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.42.

The average volume for Williams Companies has been 6,624,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Williams Companies has a market cap of $40.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 41.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 1010.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 56.67% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Although WMB had significant growth over the past year, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock at the current time.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WILLIAMS COS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.29 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.43, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $345.00 million or 35.99% 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.

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Washington REIT

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Washington REIT (NYSE: WRE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the ownership, operation, and development of real properties. The firm invests in real estate markets of the greater Washington D.C. metro region.

The average volume for Washington REIT has been 388,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Washington REIT has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Washington REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, revenue growth and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in 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 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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. 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.
  • WASHINGTON REIT 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, WASHINGTON REIT reported lower earnings of $0.00 versus $0.12 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an increase in earnings to $1.69 from $0.00.
  • The gross profit margin for WASHINGTON REIT is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.47%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.98% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $23.75 million or 22.09% 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.

Hi-Crush Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.70%

Hi-Crush Partners (NYSE: HCLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.70%.

Hi-Crush Partners LP operates as a producer and supplier of monocrystalline sand. Monocrystalline sand is a mineral that is used as a proppant to enhance the recovery rates of hydrocarbons from oil and natural gas wells. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.81.

The average volume for Hi-Crush Partners has been 727,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hi-Crush Partners has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 19.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Hi-Crush Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HCLP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 92.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 100.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 44.76% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $24.16 million or 40.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HI-CRUSH PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -55.48%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, HCLP has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.04, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

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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