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." Enerplus (NYSE: ERF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%. Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The average volume for Enerplus has been 666,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enerplus has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates Enerplus as a sell. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its feeble growth in its earnings per share. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENERPLUS CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- ENERPLUS CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, ENERPLUS CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.79 versus $0.62 in the prior year.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.32, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.41 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
- This stock has increased by 36.34% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the future course of this stock, we feel that the risks involved in investing in ERF do not compensate for any future upside potential, despite the fact that it has seen nice gains over the past 12 months.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 153.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$63.47 million to $34.02 million.
- You can view the full Enerplus Ratings Report.
- 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, EQUITY RESIDENTIAL's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for EQUITY RESIDENTIAL is rather low; currently it is at 19.20%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 59.98% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- The share price of EQUITY RESIDENTIAL has not done very well: it is down 7.92% 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. 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.
- EQUITY RESIDENTIAL 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. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EQUITY RESIDENTIAL increased its bottom line by earning $0.57 versus $0.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.74 versus $0.57).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 66.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $226.14 million to $377.19 million.
- You can view the full Equity Residential Ratings Report.
- HATTERAS FINANCIAL 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HATTERAS FINANCIAL CORP reported lower earnings of $3.65 versus $3.96 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 127.1% in earnings (-$0.99 versus $3.65).
- 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 411.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $84.05 million to -$262.15 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, HATTERAS FINANCIAL CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $79.43 million or 30.50% 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.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 34.05%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 427.71% 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.
- You can view the full Hatteras Financial Corporation Ratings Report.
- Our dividend calendar.