What To Sell: 3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks BNS, LNCO, 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

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."

Bank of Nova Scotia

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE: BNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

The Bank of Nova Scotia provides various personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking services in Canada and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.78.

The average volume for Bank of Nova Scotia has been 789,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Bank of Nova Scotia has a market cap of $63.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 7.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of Nova Scotia as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$2,077.00 million or 128.90% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • BNS has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 17.49% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA increased its bottom line by earning $5.66 versus $1.29 in the prior year.
  • The gross profit margin for BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA is currently very high, coming in at 73.25%. Regardless of BNS's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 22.96% trails the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,742.00 million to $1,757.00 million.

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