What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks ORIG, TICC, DX

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."

Ocean Rig UDW

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

Ocean Rig UDW (NASDAQ: ORIG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Ocean Rig UDW Inc., an offshore drilling contractor, provides oilfield services for offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production drilling. It specializes in the ultra-deepwater and harsh-environment segment of the offshore drilling industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.66.

The average volume for Ocean Rig UDW has been 872,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ocean Rig UDW has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ocean Rig UDW as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.4%. 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income increased by 2771.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.54 million to $41.14 million.
  • OCEAN RIG UDW INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, OCEAN RIG UDW INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $0.48 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.4% in earnings ($1.45 versus $1.97).
  • ORIG's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 48.00%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.51 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated.

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