3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: MITT, EFC, NAT

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."

AG Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 17.30%

AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.30%.

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of residential mortgage assets, and other real estate-related securities and financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 2.69

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 466,000 shares per day over the past 30 days AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $518.2 million and is part of the real estate industry Shares are down 19.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday

TheStreet Ratings rates AG Mortgage Investment as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The share price of AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST has not done very well: it is down 9.76% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST's earnings per share declined by 36.4% 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, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $7.34 versus $2.01 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 56.4% in earnings ($3.20 versus $7.34).
  • The gross profit margin for AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 88.50%. Regardless of MITT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MITT's net profit margin of 33.68% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 216.09% to $36.44 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.12%.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Ellington Financial

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

Ellington Financial (NYSE: EFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

No company description available. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.32

The average volume for Ellington Financial has been 244,800 shares per day over the past 30 days Ellington Financial has a market cap of $575.6 million and is part of the real estate industry Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday

TheStreet Ratings rates Ellington Financial 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:
  • ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC increased its bottom line by earning $5.32 versus $0.61 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 24.3% in earnings ($4.03 versus $5.32).
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC is rather high; currently it is at 69.20%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EFC's net profit margin of 219.42% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$26.54 million or 14.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -303.26%.
  • 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, ELLINGTON FINANCIAL LLC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Nordic American Tankers

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Nordic American Tankers (NYSE: NAT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Nordic American Tankers Limited, a tanker company, engages in acquiring and chartering double-hull tankers. Its fleet consists of 20 double-hull Suezmax tankers. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The average volume for Nordic American Tankers has been 1,038,300 shares per day over the past 30 days Nordic American Tankers has a market cap of $474.2 million and is part of the transportation industry Shares are down 18.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday

TheStreet Ratings rates Nordic American Tankers as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 245.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$9.39 million to -$32.39 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.80%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -50.95% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$21.76 million or 1883.95% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 41.04%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 227.77% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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