3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: AI, FSC, UMH

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

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."

Arlington Asset Investment

Dividend Yield: 16.50%

Arlington Asset Investment (NYSE: AI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 16.50%.

Arlington Asset Investment Corp., an investment firm, acquires mortgage-related and other assets.

The average volume for Arlington Asset Investment has been 311,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arlington Asset Investment has a market cap of $483.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 20.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Arlington Asset Investment as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT is currently very high, coming in at 114.77%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 188.29% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • AI, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 224.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT reported lower earnings of $0.53 versus $2.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.42 versus $0.53).
  • 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 699.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.03 million to -$42.19 million.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Fifth Street Finance Corporation

Dividend Yield: 10.20%

Fifth Street Finance Corporation (NASDAQ: FSC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.85.

The average volume for Fifth Street Finance Corporation has been 1,063,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Fifth Street Finance Corporation has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Fifth Street Finance Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FSC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 54.08% to -$218.29 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 54.08%, FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 244.87%.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The share price of FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP has not done very well: it is down 24.28% 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.

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UMH Properties

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

UMH Properties (NYSE: UMH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

UMH Properties, Inc. (UMH) is a real estate investment trust. The firm engages in the ownership and operation of manufactured home communities. It leases manufactured home spaces to private manufactured home owners, as well as leases homes to residents. The company has a P/E ratio of 52.42.

The average volume for UMH Properties has been 81,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. UMH Properties has a market cap of $254.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates UMH Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • UMH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 313.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$0.73 million to $1.56 million.
  • UMH PROPERTIES INC 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, UMH PROPERTIES INC reported poor results of -$0.15 versus -$0.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.13 versus -$0.15).
  • The gross profit margin for UMH PROPERTIES INC is rather low; currently it is at 21.35%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, UMH's net profit margin of 7.61% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, UMH PROPERTIES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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