What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks ZFC, USAC, GOOD

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."

ZAIS Financial

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

ZAIS Financial (NYSE: ZFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Zais Financial Corp. invests in, finances, and manages performing and re-performing residential mortgage loans. The company also invests in, finances, and manages residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) that are not issued or guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.16.

The average volume for ZAIS Financial has been 62,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. ZAIS Financial has a market cap of $148.9 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates ZAIS Financial 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:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, and has traded in line with the S&P 500. 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.
  • ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.81 versus $0.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.48 versus $0.81).
  • 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 441.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$6.78 million to $23.17 million.
  • The gross profit margin for ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 70.17%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 213.94% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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USA Compression Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

USA Compression Partners (NYSE: USAC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

USA Compression Partners, LP provides natural gas compression services under term contracts with customers in the oil and gas industry in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 55.36.

The average volume for USA Compression Partners has been 123,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. USA Compression Partners has a market cap of $785.6 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates USA Compression Partners as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been very high debt management risk by most measures.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that USAC's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.53 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • The gross profit margin for USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 66.21%. Regardless of USAC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, USAC's net profit margin of 14.11% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $21.60 million or 33.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 27.47%.

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Gladstone Commercial

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Gladstone Commercial (NASDAQ: GOOD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Gladstone Commercial Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in investing in and owning net leased industrial and commercial real properties, and making long-term industrial and commercial mortgage loans.

The average volume for Gladstone Commercial has been 118,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Gladstone Commercial has a market cap of $322.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Gladstone Commercial as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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, GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP reported poor results of -$0.22 versus -$0.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 311.4% in earnings (-$0.91 versus -$0.22).
  • In its most recent trading session, GOOD 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.
  • 38.85% is the gross profit margin for GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of GOOD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GOOD's net profit margin of 6.61% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $4.89 million or 8.91% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, GLADSTONE COMMERCIAL CORP's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 15.06%.

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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