3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: DEST, AMTG, STON

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."

Destination Maternity

Dividend Yield: 8.00%

Destination Maternity (NASDAQ: DEST) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.00%.

Destination Maternity Corporation designs and retails maternity apparel in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.03.

The average volume for Destination Maternity has been 77,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Destination Maternity has a market cap of $139.0 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 37.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Destination Maternity as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DEST has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.30 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • 49.31% is the gross profit margin for DESTINATION MATERNITY CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of DEST's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -2.03% trails the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, DESTINATION MATERNITY CORP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.00 million or 323.48% 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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