3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: ARP, SEAS, MTGE

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 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 "Sell."

Atlas Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.90%

Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.90%.

Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. operates as an independent developer and producer of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Gas and Oil Production, Well Construction and Completion, and Other Partnership Management.

The average volume for Atlas Resource Partners has been 579,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Resource Partners has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 3.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Atlas Resource Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 100.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$5.38 million to -$10.76 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ARP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.33 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • The share price of ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has not done very well: it is down 5.31% 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. 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.
  • ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP 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, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.88 versus -$1.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.34 versus -$1.88).

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

SeaWorld Entertainment

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. operates as a theme park and entertainment company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.21.

The average volume for SeaWorld Entertainment has been 1,708,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. SeaWorld Entertainment has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 34.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates SeaWorld Entertainment as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SEAS's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 47.95%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to 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, SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC reported lower earnings of $0.57 versus $0.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.40 versus $0.57).
  • 45.00% is the gross profit margin for SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.21% trails the industry average.

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American Capital Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

American Capital Mortgage Investment (NASDAQ: MTGE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.03.

The average volume for American Capital Mortgage Investment has been 458,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates American Capital Mortgage Investment as a sell. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • In its most recent trading session, MTGE 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. 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.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to 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, AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.58 versus $8.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.64 versus -$1.58).
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICAN CAPITAL MTG INV CP is currently very high, coming in at 86.75%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MTGE's net profit margin of 54.10% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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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