What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks USAC, LPHI, OAKS - TheStreet

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 or Stephanie Link.

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 "Sell."

USA Compression Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

USA Compression Partners

(NYSE:

USAC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

USA Compression Partners, LP provides natural gas compression services under term contracts with customers in the oil and gas industry in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.64.

The average volume for USA Compression Partners has been 118,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. USA Compression Partners has a market cap of $704.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

USA Compression Partners

as a

sell

. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • In its most recent trading session, USAC 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. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • The gross profit margin for USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 65.94%. Regardless of USAC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 8.78% trails the industry average.
  • USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP 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, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.32 versus $0.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.57 versus $0.32).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income increased by 192.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.71 million to $5.01 million.
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 48.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

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Life Partners Holdings

Dividend Yield: 12.70%

Life Partners Holdings

(NASDAQ:

LPHI

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.70%.

Life Partners Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Life Partners, Inc., operates in the secondary market for life insurance worldwide. It facilitates the sale of life settlements between sellers and purchasers, but does not take possession or control of the policies.

The average volume for Life Partners Holdings has been 26,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Life Partners Holdings has a market cap of $29.5 million and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 11.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Life Partners Holdings

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 302.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.79 million to -$7.21 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Financial Services industry and the overall market, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC has not done very well: it is down 22.55% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIFE PARTNERS HOLDINGS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.13 versus -$0.16 in the prior year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$1.63 million or 27.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.71%.

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Five Oaks Investment

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

Five Oaks Investment

(NYSE:

OAKS

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

Five Oaks Investment Corp. focuses on investing, financing, and managing agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), residential mortgage loans, multi-family MBS, and other mortgage-related investments. It would elect to be taxed as a real estate investment trust.

The average volume for Five Oaks Investment has been 116,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Five Oaks Investment has a market cap of $162.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Five Oaks Investment

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 44.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.97 million to $4.42 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $4.20 million or 43.07% 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.
  • In its most recent trading session, OAKS 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.
  • FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.33 versus $0.43).
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 13.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 38.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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