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 "Sell." Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE: AT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.90%. Atlantic Power Corporation operates as a power generation and infrastructure company with a portfolio of assets in the United States and Canada. The average volume for Atlantic Power Corporation has been 1,292,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlantic Power Corporation has a market cap of $414.5 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Atlantic Power Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- ATLANTIC POWER CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, ATLANTIC POWER CORP reported poor results of -$1.10 versus -$0.39 in the prior year.
- 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 452.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$7.50 million to -$41.40 million.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 71.37%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 54.54% 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.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.02 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, AT's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.05, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market, ATLANTIC POWER CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full Atlantic Power Corporation Ratings Report.