3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: ZFC, WILN, ARR

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

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: 9.10%

ZAIS Financial (NYSE: ZFC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

Zais Financial Corp. originates, acquires, finances, sells, services, and manages residential mortgage loans in the United States. It originates mortgage loans through its GMFS mortgage banking platform; and acquires performing, re-performing, and newly originated loans through other channels. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.62.

The average volume for ZAIS Financial has been 20,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. ZAIS Financial has a market cap of $139.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates ZAIS Financial as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 83.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.22 million to $0.37 million.
  • ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP 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. 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, ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.91 versus $0.81 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 31.3% in earnings ($2.00 versus $2.91).
  • Compared to where it was a year ago, 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.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ZAIS FINANCIAL CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Wi-Lan

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Wi-Lan (NASDAQ: WILN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Wi-LAN Inc., an intellectual property licensing company, develops, acquires, and licenses various patented technologies, which are used in products in the communications and consumer electronics markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 201.00.

The average volume for Wi-Lan has been 76,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Wi-Lan has a market cap of $241.7 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 32.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wi-Lan as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 29.57%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 233.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • 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 Communications Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 219.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3.97 million to -$4.76 million.
  • The gross profit margin for WI-LAN INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 4.63%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -23.31% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $2.36 million or 88.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • 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 Communications Equipment industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WI-LAN INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

ARMOUR Residential REIT

Dividend Yield: 15.90%

ARMOUR Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.90%.

ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. invests in and manages a portfolio of residential mortgage backed securities in the United States. The company is managed by ARMOUR Capital Management LP.

The average volume for ARMOUR Residential REIT has been 2,497,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. ARMOUR Residential REIT has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 17.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates ARMOUR Residential REIT as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 534.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$19.78 million to -$125.47 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $73.10 million or 4.68% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC has marginally lower results.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 28.14%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 428.57% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC 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 two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC reported poor results of -$0.55 versus -$0.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.43 versus -$0.55).

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

More from Markets

Dow Seeks Direction as Bond Yields Inch Closer to 3% Threshold

Dow Seeks Direction as Bond Yields Inch Closer to 3% Threshold

Aluminum Prices Plummet as U.S. Is Open to Easing Sanctions on Russia's Rusal

Aluminum Prices Plummet as U.S. Is Open to Easing Sanctions on Russia's Rusal

Akorn's Stock Crashes as Germany's Fresenius Ends Takeover Amid Data Allegations

Akorn's Stock Crashes as Germany's Fresenius Ends Takeover Amid Data Allegations

Trump to Blame for Oil's Recent Surge, Not OPEC

Trump to Blame for Oil's Recent Surge, Not OPEC

3 Things Investors Must Know for Monday

3 Things Investors Must Know for Monday