NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A smart investor knows when to double down on an opportunity and when to walk away.
There are plenty of companies that may be in industries that have strong growth prospects but are not good investments. Here are nine stocks in the S&P 500 that investors should stay away from.
The stocks on this list all have "Sell" ratings with a D or worse rating. The companies also have a beta measurement -- a popularity measure of volatility -- of greater than 1.
TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool, projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.
Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.
Note: Year-to-date returns are based on June 16, 2015 closing prices.AMD data by YCharts
1. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Market Cap: $1.8 billion
TheStreet Ratings: Sell, D
Year-to-date return: -12%
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. operates as a semiconductor company worldwide. The company's products primarily include x86 microprocessors as an accelerated processing unit (APU), chipsets, discrete graphics processing units (GPUs), and semi-custom System-on-Chip (SoC) products.
TheStreet Ratings said: "We rate ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES (AMD) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 800.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$20.00 million to -$180.00 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 Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market, ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 133.41 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, AMD's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.30, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 45.93%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 666.66% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
- ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES 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, ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES reported poor results of -$0.53 versus -$0.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.23 versus -$0.53).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AMD Ratings Report