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 "Hold." FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%. FirstEnergy Corp., a diversified energy holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the United States. The company operates in Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, and Competitive Energy Services segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 147.79. The average volume for FirstEnergy has been 3,694,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. FirstEnergy has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates FirstEnergy as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- FE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- FIRSTENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRSTENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $1.81 versus $2.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.99 versus $1.81).
- 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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 48.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $425.00 million to $218.00 million.
- The gross profit margin for FIRSTENERGY CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.54%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 5.42% trails that of the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $1,178.00 million or 2.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, FIRSTENERGY CORP has marginally lower results.
- You can view the full FirstEnergy Ratings Report.