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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