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." Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%. Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 96.29. The average volume for Mid-America Apartment Communities has been 527,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-America Apartment Communities has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 11.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-America Apartment Communities as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its robust revenue growth -- not just in the most recent periods but in previous quarters as well. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- MAA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 82.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC reported lower earnings of $1.02 versus $1.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.19 versus $1.02).
- In its most recent trading session, MAA has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
- 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 on the basis of return on equity, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC is rather low; currently it is at 17.68%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -3.86% is significantly below that of the industry average.
- You can view the full Mid-America Apartment Communities Ratings Report.