What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks MITT, MTGE, STON

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 "Hold."

AG Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 13.00%

AG Mortgage Investment (NYSE: MITT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.00%.

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of mortgage assets, other real estate-related securities, and financial assets. It invests in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), for which a U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.77.

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 189,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $522.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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 attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 77.50%. Regardless of MITT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MITT's net profit margin of 46.22% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 29.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $23.29 million or 1.90% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST has marginally lower results.
  • 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 59.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $31.19 million to $12.76 million.

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