3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: PMT, AGNC, ARR

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 "Hold."

PennyMac Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

PennyMac Mortgage Investment (NYSE: PMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, a specialty finance company, through its subsidiaries, invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets. The company operates in two segments, Correspondent Lending and Investment Activities. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.22.

The average volume for PennyMac Mortgage Investment has been 713,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. PennyMac Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PennyMac Mortgage Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR is rather high; currently it is at 64.48%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 45.25% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, PMT 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.
  • PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR's earnings per share declined by 16.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVEST TR reported lower earnings of $3.02 versus $3.08 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.1% in earnings ($2.93 versus $3.02).

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

American Capital Agency

Dividend Yield: 11.70%

American Capital Agency (NASDAQ: AGNC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.70%.

American Capital Agency Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company has a P/E ratio of 6.80.

The average volume for American Capital Agency has been 5,921,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Agency has a market cap of $7.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 15.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Agency as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP is currently very high, coming in at 130.89%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 81.30% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • AGNC, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 113.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY 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, AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP reported lower earnings of $3.17 versus $4.40 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 14.4% in earnings ($2.71 versus $3.17).
  • 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 112.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $811.00 million to -$100.00 million.

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

ARMOUR Residential REIT

Dividend Yield: 14.00%

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.00%.

ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. is a real estate investment trust launched and managed by ARMOUR Residential Management LLC. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States.

The average volume for ARMOUR Residential REIT has been 5,280,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. ARMOUR Residential REIT has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates ARMOUR Residential REIT as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. In comparison to the other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • ARR, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 216.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $86.27 million or 18.52% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -54.21%.
  • 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 518.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $54.94 million to -$229.94 million.

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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