What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks OFC, APAM, PEGI

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."

Corporate Office Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Corporate Office Properties (NYSE: OFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Corporate Office Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, management, and leasing of suburban office properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 71.11.

The average volume for Corporate Office Properties has been 775,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Corporate Office Properties has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Corporate Office Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and notable return on equity. 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:
  • OFC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CORP OFFICE PPTYS TR INC has shown improvement in its earnings for its most recently reported quarter when compared with the same quarter a year earlier. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, CORP OFFICE PPTYS TR INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.25 versus $0.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.69 versus $0.25).
  • The gross profit margin for CORP OFFICE PPTYS TR INC is rather low; currently it is at 19.64%. Regardless of OFC's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, OFC's net profit margin of 8.22% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $41.89 million or 18.72% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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Artisan Partners Asset Management

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

Artisan Partners Asset Management (NYSE: APAM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc is publicly owned investment manager. It provides its services to pension and profit sharing plans, trusts, endowments, foundations, charitable organizations, government entities, private funds and non-U.S. funds, as well as mutual funds, non-U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.56.

The average volume for Artisan Partners Asset Management has been 273,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Artisan Partners Asset Management has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Artisan Partners Asset Management as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ARTISAN PARTNERS ASSET MGMT 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ARTISAN PARTNERS ASSET MGMT continued to lose money by earning -$0.72 versus -$2.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.96 versus -$0.72).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 126.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $8.64 million to $19.51 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $128.71 million or 12.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • APAM has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 24.36% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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Pattern Energy Group

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Pattern Energy Group (NASDAQ: PEGI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Pattern Energy Group Inc., an independent power company, owns and operates power projects in the United States, Canada, and Chile. As of March 2, 2015, the company owned interests in 12 wind power projects with the capacity of 1,636 megawatts. It sells electricity primarily to local utilities.

The average volume for Pattern Energy Group has been 493,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Pattern Energy Group has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 15.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Pattern Energy Group as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to other companies in the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market, PATTERN ENERGY GROUP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PATTERN ENERGY GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.08%. Regardless of PEGI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PEGI's net profit margin of -30.67% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $16.24 million or 1.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 1.01%, PATTERN ENERGY GROUP INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -8.85%.
  • In its most recent trading session, PEGI has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.

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