4 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: AGNC, ARR, NS, ORI

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 "Hold."

American Capital Agency

Dividend Yield: 17.10%

American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.10%.

American Capital Agency Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company has a P/E ratio of 13.60.

The average volume for American Capital Agency has been 7,284,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Agency has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Agency as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP is currently very high, coming in at 91.90%. Regardless of AGNC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AGNC's net profit margin of 44.33% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 64.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $641.00 million to $231.00 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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