3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: MTGE, APO, ECA

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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Sell."

American Capital Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 14.60%

American Capital Mortgage Investment (NASDAQ: MTGE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.60%.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.79.

The average volume for American Capital Mortgage Investment has been 1,649,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Mortgage Investment as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been the company's poor growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP's earnings per share declined by 18.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP increased its bottom line by earning $8.40 versus $1.72 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 58.5% in earnings ($3.49 versus $8.40).
  • 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 AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP is currently very high, coming in at 93.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 76.53% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 192.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $17.20 million to $50.39 million.

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Apollo Global Management

Dividend Yield: 15.50%

Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.50%.

Apollo Global Management, LLC is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to pension and endowment funds, institutional investors, individual investors, pooled investment vehicles, and corporations. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.08.

The average volume for Apollo Global Management has been 865,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Global Management has a market cap of $3.6 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 55.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Global Management as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$194.88 million or 316.52% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 42.80% is the gross profit margin for APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.79% is above that of the industry average.
  • This stock has increased by 107.50% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in APO do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.

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Encana

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Encana (NYSE: ECA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Encana Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the exploration for, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids in Canada and the United States.

The average volume for Encana has been 5,142,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Encana has a market cap of $13.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 7.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Encana as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ENCANA CORP 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, ENCANA CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$3.79 versus $0.15 in the prior year.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 3691.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $12.00 million to -$431.00 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENCANA CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ENCANA CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.40%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -40.69% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $338.00 million or 45.21% 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.

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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