4 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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 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."

Apollo Residential Mortgage

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

Apollo Residential Mortgage (NYSE: AMTG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. operates as a residential real estate trust that invests in, finances, and manages residential mortgage assets in the United States. Its investment portfolio includes agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities. The company has a P/E ratio of 2.62.

The average volume for Apollo Residential Mortgage has been 592,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Residential Mortgage has a market cap of $677.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 11.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Residential Mortgage as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • APOLLO RESIDENTIAL MTG INC has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 65.4% in earnings ($2.83 versus $8.19).
  • 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 73.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $20.12 million to $5.34 million.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago, the stock is now trading at a higher level, and has traded in line with the S&P 500. Regardless of the rise in share value over the previous year, we feel that the risks involved in investing in this stock do not compensate for any future upside potential.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO RESIDENTIAL MTG INC is currently very high, coming in at 85.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, AMTG's net profit margin of 13.95% significantly trails the industry average.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Enerplus

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Enerplus (NYSE: ERF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada.

The average volume for Enerplus has been 964,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enerplus has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enerplus as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENERPLUS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $189.39 million or 21.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 21.80%, ENERPLUS CORP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -23.86%.
  • ERF'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 25.89%, 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • ENERPLUS CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, ENERPLUS CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.79 versus $0.62 in the prior year.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.35, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.44 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (NYSE: OZM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm provides investment advisory services for its clients. It invests in equity markets across the world. The firm makes its investments in alternative markets across the world.

The average volume for Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has been 1,312,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 17.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Och-Ziff Capital Management Group as a sell. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for OCH-ZIFF CAPITAL MGMT LP is rather high; currently it is at 66.40%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.64% trails the industry average.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is higher, and it has outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.
  • OCH-ZIFF CAPITAL MGMT 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 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, OCH-ZIFF CAPITAL MGMT LP continued to lose money by earning -$2.24 versus -$4.08 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.27 versus -$2.24).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 121.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$122.74 million to $26.07 million.
  • OZM's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 91.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

Rentech Nitrogen Partners (NYSE: RNF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. engages in the manufacture and sale of nitrogen fertilizer products for use in the United States. The company operates in two segments, East Dubuque and Pasadena. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.87.

The average volume for Rentech Nitrogen Partners has been 454,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 8.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rentech Nitrogen Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.77 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, RNF maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.92, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.50%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.99% trails that of the industry average.
  • RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $2.78 versus $0.36 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.7% in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.78).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Chemicals industry. The net income increased by 422.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.36 million to $17.56 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has improved to $17.34 million from having none in the same quarter last year. Since the company had no net operating cash flow for the prior period, we cannot calculate a percent change in order to compare its growth rate with that of its industry average.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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