3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: TGP, FISH, ELRC

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."

Teekay LNG Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Teekay LNG Partners (NYSE: TGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Teekay LNG Partners L.P. provides marine transportation services for liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and crude oil worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.27.

The average volume for Teekay LNG Partners has been 259,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Teekay LNG Partners has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 18.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Teekay LNG Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 67.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $38.25 million to $63.97 million.
  • The gross profit margin for TEEKAY LNG PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 77.44%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 65.72% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TEEKAY LNG PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • TGP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.92% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.45, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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Azure Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Azure Midstream Partners (NYSE: FISH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Azure Midstream Partners, LP acquires, owns, develops, and operates midstream energy assets in the United States. It operates through two segments, Gathering and Processing; and Logistics. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.44.

The average volume for Azure Midstream Partners has been 73,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Azure Midstream Partners has a market cap of $152.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 12.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Azure Midstream Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 38.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 1.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$1.29 million to -$1.27 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.99 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The gross profit margin for AZURE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.94%. Regardless of FISH's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, FISH's net profit margin of -9.89% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2.60 million or 129.37% 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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Electro Rent

Dividend Yield: 8.00%

Electro Rent (NASDAQ: ELRC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.00%.

Electro Rent Corporation rents, leases, and sells new and used electronic test and measurement equipment primarily for use in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications, electronics, industrial, and semiconductor industries in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.78.

The average volume for Electro Rent has been 86,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Electro Rent has a market cap of $242.3 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 26.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Electro Rent as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • ELRC 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.
  • The gross profit margin for ELECTRO RENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 57.15%. Regardless of ELRC'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 4.30% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 46.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $4.54 million to $2.43 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components industry and the overall market, ELECTRO RENT CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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