Sometimes it's best to be extra cautious, especially in this volatile market. Even the most diehard dividend enthusiast would agree that when the tide turns against a stock and it goes into free-fall, the prudent option is make an exit and scout for better alternatives.
Here are three stocks with negative total returns despite high dividend yields over the last year and half. These are risky stocks you should either sell or avoid. They belong to a wider group of dangerous stocks poised for collapse in 2016.
Founded in 1997, Annaly Capital has provided over $13 billion in dividends to its shareholders.
The company is a leading mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on the NYSE. However, the company's quarterly dividends started sliding from December 2009 when it had declared $0.75 (for the last quarter of 2009). Since then, dividends have been slashed to $0.30 in the third quarter of 2015.
Core earnings-per-share (EPS) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $0.21 ($217.6 million overall), compared to $0.41 ($411.1 million overall) for the June 2015 quarter, and $0.31 ($308.6 million overall) for the quarter ended Sept.30, 2014.
The company has attributed the drop in earnings in the most recent quarter to higher swap costs. The costs were incurred due to expanding notional balances as well as a decrease in investment advisory and dividend incomes. Further, the income deficit was prompted by Chimera Investment's decision to internalize its management and the company's disposal of its stake in Chimera in the third quarter of 2015.
Acknowledging the challenging environment for mortgage REITs, Chief Executive Officer and President Kevin Keyes commented that it is "one of the most unique and volatile time periods in the history of the fixed income markets."
Annaly Capital has a negative year-to-date market yield of -13.23% which nullifies the current dividend yield of 12.79% as of Dec.10.
Investors are well advised to stay clear of the stock and avoid the lure of its high dividend yield. This yield will be hard to sustain going forward; the company's dividend history suggests that cuts may be in the offing when market volatility eats into its free cash flows and it's also hit by interest rate risks. Weak and vulnerable stocks are lurking for unsuspecting investors next year and Annaly Capital is one of them.
Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS is a Turkish mobile communications and technology services provider. The company is engaged in building a global system for mobile communications (GSMC) network in Turkey and its regional states.
Revenues for the third quarter of 2015 fell by 19.55% year over year to $1.18 billion while net income fell sharply by 36.93% to $222 million during the same period. At the same time, EPS continued to slide for the fourth year in succession and EPS for the most recent third quarter dropped to $0.25 from $0.40 in the comparable quarter of 2014, a decrease of 37.5%.
The company has been awarded 50% of the 4.5G spectrum being auctioned in Turkey. Analysts, however, remain wary of the stock. Recently Julien Haddad, the Moody's lead analyst on Turkcell bonds suggested, "Turkcell's Baa3 rating with a negative outlook, in line with the sovereign, also reflects the company's geographic concentration with more than 90% of Turkcell's revenue and cash flows generated in Turkey."
Turkcell's free cash flow has improved to $368 million in the third quarter of 2015 from $224 million in the comparable quarter, but the company's earnings will be under pressure on account of spectrum payments for the next two years.
Turkcell looks like a risky investment, as its weak market performance clearly negates the benefit of its high dividend yield. Add this stock to the list of dodgy equities you should shun.
Chimera Investment Corporation is a hybrid mortgage REIT involved in the management of a "portfolio of leveraged mortgages to produce an attractive quarterly dividend for shareholders," according to the company's latest investor presentation made in November 2015.
So far, so good. But can the company live up to the promise made in its mission statement?
The company reported core EPS of $0.50 ($98 million overall) in the third quarter of 2015 -- 9.10% short of analysts' expectation of $0.53. In fact, the company faces headwinds in its business in the form of interest rate volatility and even acknowledged the same, in its third quarter earnings release in the following words: "Given the current uncertainty around interest rates, we believe defending book value in the near term while creating an investor friendly operating structure will be the right path to maximizing value for our shareholders over the long term."
In a scenario where the company's share price is going south, it's obvious that the company will have to raise dividends even further to ensure that shareholders' total returns on investment (capital appreciation plus dividend yield) remains positive.
However, the company's dividend payout ratio has been erratic in a shrinking free-cash-flow situation. In 2014, the company's payout ratio was 56.5%. In the current year, the trailing 12-month dividend payout ratio is 272%, which is obviously unsustainable, because free cash flows have shrunk from $335 million in 2012 to $183 million in 2014.
The company is clearly in a bind, as market volatility and interest rate risks make it a shaky investment.
In addition to the vulnerable high-yield stocks examined above, there's another group of 29 dangerous stocks that are on the verge of total meltdown in 2016. In fact, using a little-known financial "health test," the stocks on this list are a failure in every category! Click here now to make sure you don't make the mistake of owning one.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.