What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks MRCC, SSW, ACRE

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."

Monroe Capital

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Monroe Capital (NASDAQ: MRCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Monroe Capital Corporation is a business development company specializing in senior, unitranche and junior secured debt and, to a lesser extent, unsecured debt and equity investments in middle-market companies. The fund focuses on companies with a maximum of $25 million in EBITDA per year. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.02.

The average volume for Monroe Capital has been 83,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Monroe Capital has a market cap of $178.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Monroe Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, MONROE CAPITAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to -$15.10 million or 2.38% 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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