3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: ASC, IEP, NRP

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."

Ardmore Shipping

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Ardmore Shipping (NYSE: ASC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Ardmore Shipping Corporation engages in the seaborne transportation of petroleum products and chemicals through product and chemical tankers worldwide. As of December 31, 2015, the company operated 24 vessels. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.92.

The average volume for Ardmore Shipping has been 273,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ardmore Shipping has a market cap of $229.9 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 31.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ardmore Shipping as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, ASC maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.94, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • ASC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 23.08% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • ARDMORE SHIPPING CORP has improved earnings per share by 30.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ARDMORE SHIPPING CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.23 versus $0.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.5% in earnings ($1.15 versus $1.23).
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ARDMORE SHIPPING CORP's return on equity has significantly outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

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