5 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, APTS, MITT, DCIX, EROC

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Sell."

America First Multifamily Investors

Dividend Yield: 7.80%

America First Multifamily Investors (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.80%.

America First Multifamily Investors, L.P. acquires, holds, sells, and deals in a portfolio of federally tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds that have been issued to provide construction and/or permanent financing of multifamily residential apartments. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.91.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 247,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $325.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates America First Multifamily Investors as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ATAX has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.08% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 54.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.21 million to $3.41 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP is currently very high, coming in at 73.27%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 34.94% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1007.23% to $4.76 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 46.96%.

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

Preferred Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Preferred Apartment Communities (AMEX: APTS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Preferred Apartment Communities, Inc. is a real estate investment trust launched and managed by Preferred Apartment Advisors, LLC. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily acquires and operates multifamily apartment properties.

The average volume for Preferred Apartment Communities has been 71,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Preferred Apartment Communities has a market cap of $120.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Preferred Apartment Communities as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 34.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.15 million to $0.10 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS's earnings have gone downhill when comparing its most recently reported quarter with the same quarter a year earlier. 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, PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS continued to lose money by earning -$0.11 versus -$1.67 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1050.0% in earnings (-$1.27 versus -$0.11).
  • This stock has managed to decline in share value by 3.92% over the past twelve months. 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 PREFERRED APARTMENT CMNTYS is rather high; currently it is at 61.13%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, APTS's net profit margin of 1.11% significantly trails the industry average.

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

AG Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 15.00%

AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.00%.

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 average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 351,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $452.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 90.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $61.22 million to $6.00 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 34.18%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 97.09% 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.
  • AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST 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. 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 65.7% in earnings ($2.52 versus $7.34).
  • MITT, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 119.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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

Diana Containerships

Dividend Yield: 14.90%

Diana Containerships (NASDAQ: DCIX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.90%.

Diana Containerships Inc., a shipping company, owns and operates containerships. It is involved in the seaborne transportation activities. As of August 23, 2013, its fleet consisted of nine container vessels comprising one Post-Panamax and eight Panamax vessels.

The average volume for Diana Containerships has been 265,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Diana Containerships has a market cap of $137.0 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Diana Containerships as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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 Marine industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 145.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.59 million to -$0.72 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $6.47 million or 29.12% 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 34.63%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 140.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC 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. 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, DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.24 versus $0.16 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 104.2% in earnings (-$0.01 versus $0.24).

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

Eagle Rock Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Eagle Rock Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EROC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in gathering, compressing, treating, processing, transporting, marketing, and trading natural gas, as well as fractionating and transporting natural gas liquids (NGL).

The average volume for Eagle Rock Energy Partners has been 1,186,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Eagle Rock Energy Partners has a market cap of $983.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eagle Rock Energy Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.57 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, EROC has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $47.12 million or 4.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP has marginally lower results.
  • EROC's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 31.42%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP has improved earnings per share by 24.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.11 versus $0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.07 versus -$1.11).

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:
null

If you liked this article you might like

C-Suite Sweet Spot: Insider Buying by CEO and CFO Is Worth Tracking

C-Suite Sweet Spot: Insider Buying by CEO and CFO Is Worth Tracking

What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks ATAX, ARLP, MN

What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks ATAX, ARLP, MN

3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, ARLP, CMRE

3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, ARLP, CMRE

3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, CMTL, KNOP

3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: ATAX, CMTL, KNOP

Tomorrow's Ex-Dividends To Watch: ATAX, RHP, CIM

Tomorrow's Ex-Dividends To Watch: ATAX, RHP, CIM