3 Sell-Rated Dividend Stocks: KCAP, AMID, LADR

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."

KCAP Financial

Dividend Yield: 14.60%

KCAP Financial (NASDAQ: KCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.60%.

KCAP Financial, Inc. is a business development company specializing in investments in debt securities portfolio, asset manager affiliates, and CLO fund securities.

The average volume for KCAP Financial has been 126,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. KCAP Financial has a market cap of $152.9 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 2.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates KCAP Financial as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 189.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.67 million to -$6.84 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, KCAP FINANCIAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 25.98%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 190.00% 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.
  • KCAP FINANCIAL INC 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, KCAP FINANCIAL INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.51 versus $0.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.54 versus -$0.51).
  • KCAP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 13.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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