What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks PM, TS, CVA

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."

Philip Morris International

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, other tobacco products, and other nicotine-containing products. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.07.

The average volume for Philip Morris International has been 5,379,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Philip Morris International has a market cap of $132.7 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Philip Morris International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL is rather high; currently it is at 68.88%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.13% is above that of the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, PM has outperformed against the industry average of 23.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.3%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL reported lower earnings of $4.76 versus $5.26 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.1% in earnings ($4.42 versus $4.76).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$375.00 million or 152.44% 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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