3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: OAKS, EROC, IRT

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."

Five Oaks Investment

Dividend Yield: 15.10%

Five Oaks Investment (NYSE: OAKS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.10%.

Five Oaks Investment Corp. focuses on investing, financing, and managing a portfolio of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). It invests in agency and non-agency residential MBS, multi-family MBS, residential mortgage loans, mortgage servicing rights, and other mortgage-related investments.

The average volume for Five Oaks Investment has been 104,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Five Oaks Investment has a market cap of $146.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Five Oaks Investment 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, 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 133.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $10.74 million to -$3.60 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, FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP has not done very well: it is down 16.94% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.03 versus $0.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.32 versus -$0.03).
  • The gross profit margin for FIVE OAKS INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 83.59%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -12.36% is in-line with the industry average.

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Eagle Rock Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.80%

Eagle Rock Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EROC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.80%.

Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, develops and produces oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Eagle Rock Energy Partners has been 429,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Eagle Rock Energy Partners has a market cap of $397.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Eagle Rock Energy Partners 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 216.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$18.56 million to -$58.72 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $13.76 million or 79.92% 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.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 39.68%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 680.00% 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.
  • EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP 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, EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNRS LP reported poor results of -$2.25 versus -$1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.22 versus -$2.25).

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Independence Realty

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

Independence Realty (AMEX: IRT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

Independence Realty Trust, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust launched by RAIT Financial Trust. It is managed by Independence Realty Advisors, LLC. The fund invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It makes investments in apartment properties to create its portfolio.

The average volume for Independence Realty has been 132,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Independence Realty has a market cap of $273.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Independence Realty as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, 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 107.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.94 million to -$0.23 million.
  • The gross profit margin for INDEPENDENCE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 17.42%. Regardless of IRT's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, IRT's net profit margin of -1.07% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, IRT 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. 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.
  • INDEPENDENCE REALTY TRUST 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, INDEPENDENCE REALTY TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $0.19 versus $0.06 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 121.1% in earnings (-$0.04 versus $0.19).
  • Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, INDEPENDENCE REALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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