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 which could 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." MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%. MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The company has a P/E ratio of 34.25. The average volume for MFA Financial has been 2,567,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 4.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $75.47 million to $78.73 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for MFA FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 90.76%. Regardless of MFA's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MFA's net profit margin of 62.23% significantly outperformed against the industry.
- MFA FINANCIAL INC has improved earnings per share by 5.3% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, MFA FINANCIAL INC reported lower earnings of $0.79 versus $0.83 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.3% in earnings ($0.74 versus $0.79).
- 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MFA FINANCIAL INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full MFA Financial Ratings Report.