What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks RPAI, GOV, PSEC

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."

Retail Properties of America

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Retail Properties of America (NYSE: RPAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Retail Properties of America, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. It engages in acquisition, development and management of properties. The trust invests in the real estate markets of United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 108.57.

The average volume for Retail Properties of America has been 1,362,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Retail Properties of America has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Retail Properties of America as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.15 versus -$0.20 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.7% in earnings ($0.11 versus $0.15).
  • The gross profit margin for RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.97%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.53% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 7.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $14.13 million to $13.08 million.

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