What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks SBR, MRCC, WSR

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."

Sabine Royalty

Dividend Yield: 12.40%

Sabine Royalty (NYSE: SBR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.40%.

Sabine Royalty Trust holds royalty and mineral interests in various oil and gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.40.

The average volume for Sabine Royalty has been 42,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sabine Royalty has a market cap of $388.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sabine Royalty 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, 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SBR 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. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.85, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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, SABINE ROYALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, SBR has outperformed against the industry average of 36.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 26.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • SABINE ROYALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 27.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable Earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. During the past fiscal year, SABINE ROYALTY TRUST's EPS of $4.03 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $4.03.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.88%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 27.64% compared to the year-earlier 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.

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Monroe Capital

Dividend Yield: 11.20%

Monroe Capital (NASDAQ: MRCC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.20%.

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 9.77.

The average volume for Monroe Capital has been 66,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Monroe Capital has a market cap of $160.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.2% 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, growth in earnings per share and compelling growth in net income. 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MONROE CAPITAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 8.6% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, MONROE CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.63 versus $1.45).
  • MRCC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 12.81% 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$60.19 million or 556.81% 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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Whitestone REIT

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

WhiteStone REIT is a Maryland REIT engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in major metropolitan areas. The company has a P/E ratio of 53.50.

The average volume for Whitestone REIT has been 150,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Whitestone REIT has a market cap of $292.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 10.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Whitestone REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income 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 and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.9%. 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 significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 42.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.10 million to $1.57 million.
  • 45.50% is the gross profit margin for WHITESTONE REIT which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, WSR's net profit margin of 6.36% significantly trails the industry average.
  • WSR'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 29.55%, 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. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, WSR is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, WHITESTONE REIT's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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