What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks SEAS, PBF, HTS

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."

SeaWorld Entertainment

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. operates as a theme park and entertainment company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.59.

The average volume for SeaWorld Entertainment has been 2,773,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. SeaWorld Entertainment has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 28.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates SeaWorld Entertainment as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Although SEAS's debt-to-equity ratio of 2.95 is very high, it is currently less than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.34, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 30.95%, 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 5.6%. 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.
  • 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 ($0.85 versus $0.57).
  • 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.

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