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 and 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Sell." TransAlta Corporation (NYSE: TAC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%. TransAlta Corporation operates as a non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Australia. The company engages in the generation and wholesale trade of electricity and other energy-related commodities and derivatives. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates TransAlta Corporation a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold. The average volume for TransAlta Corporation has been 97,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. TransAlta Corporation has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. TheStreet Ratings rates TransAlta Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market, TRANSALTA CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- TAC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 23.07% 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.
- Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.40, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.47 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
- TAC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- TRANSALTA CORP has improved earnings per share by 36.4% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, TRANSALTA CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$2.72 versus $1.30 in the prior year.
- You can view the full TransAlta Corporation Ratings Report.