What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks NSH, TAXI, APLP

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."

NuStar GP Holdings

Dividend Yield: 10.60%

NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.60%.

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC, through its ownership interests in NuStar Energy L.P., engages in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia; terminalling and storage of petroleum products; and marketing of petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.98.

The average volume for NuStar GP Holdings has been 239,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. NuStar GP Holdings has a market cap of $884.0 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 42.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates NuStar GP Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 36.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.4%. 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.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Looking at the price performance of NSH's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 33.89%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter.
  • The change in net income 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 has decreased by 4.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $17.64 million to $16.92 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $22.05 million or 12.40% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow NUSTAR GP HOLDINGS LLC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -26.27%.

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Medallion Financial

Dividend Yield: 14.90%

Medallion Financial (NASDAQ: TAXI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.90%.

Medallion Financial Corp., through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty finance company in the United States. The company engages in originating, acquiring, and servicing loans that finance taxicab medallions and various types of commercial businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.42.

The average volume for Medallion Financial has been 324,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medallion Financial has a market cap of $163.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 32.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Medallion Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

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 Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 9.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6.69 million to $7.31 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.84%. Regardless of TAXI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAXI's net profit margin of 67.79% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MEDALLION FINANCIAL CORP reported lower earnings of $1.14 versus $1.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.23 versus $1.14).
  • TAXI'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 27.18%, 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. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.38 million or 97.99% 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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Archrock Partners

Dividend Yield: 17.80%

Archrock Partners (NASDAQ: APLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.80%.

Exterran Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides natural gas contract operations services to customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.43.

The average volume for Archrock Partners has been 221,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Archrock Partners has a market cap of $769.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 40.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 30.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.6%. 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.
  • 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ARCHROCK PARTNERS LP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 38.81%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 57.69% compared to the year-earlier 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 1.94 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, APLP has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.22, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

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