3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: EVA, ABR, MCC

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."

Enviva Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Enviva Partners (NYSE: EVA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Enviva Partners, LP produces and supplies utility-grade wood pellets to power generators. Enviva Partners GP, LLC operates as the general partner of the company. Enviva Partners, LP was founded in 2013 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.90.

The average volume for Enviva Partners has been 96,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enviva Partners has a market cap of $565.2 million and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are up 33.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Enviva Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • ENVIVA PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.45 versus $0.97).
  • Despite the weak revenue results, EVA has outperformed against the industry average of 22.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • EVA's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.97 is weak.
  • The gross profit margin for ENVIVA PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 19.83%. Regardless of EVA's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EVA's net profit margin of 7.09% compares favorably to the industry average.

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