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.

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