3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks: MITT, RSO, RNO

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 "Hold."

AG Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 12.90%

AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.90%.

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of residential mortgage assets, other real estate-related securities, and financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.40.

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 201,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $528.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 19.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates AG Mortgage Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MITT's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 11.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 214.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST 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, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $7.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.45 versus -$1.60).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $25.56 million or 38.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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