What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks APTS, DCIX, STB

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

Preferred Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 8.00%

Preferred Apartment Communities (AMEX: APTS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.00%.

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 72,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Preferred Apartment Communities has a market cap of $119.9 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 and disappointing return on equity.

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.
  • This stock has managed to decline in share value by 2.00% 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.
  • 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 not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for 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.
  • 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.

Diana Containerships

Dividend Yield: 15.00%

Diana Containerships (NASDAQ: DCIX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.00%.

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 266,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Diana Containerships has a market cap of $135.6 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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 41.02%, 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.

Student Transportation

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Student Transportation (NASDAQ: STB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Student Transportation Inc. provides school bus transportation services in North America. The company operates through two segments Transportation, and Oil and Gas. The Transportation segment provides school bus management services to public and private schools in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 153.75.

The average volume for Student Transportation has been 114,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Student Transportation has a market cap of $502.6 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 0.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, STB has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.53% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • 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 Road & Rail industry. The net income has decreased by 15.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$7.61 million to -$8.79 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 Road & Rail industry and the overall market, STUDENT TRANSPORTATION 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 -$21.11 million or 30.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • The gross profit margin for STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.36%. Regardless of STB's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STB's net profit margin of -12.02% significantly underperformed when compared to 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.

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