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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 "Buy."

Western Gas Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

Western Gas Partners

(NYSE:

WES

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

Western Gas Partners, LP owns, operates, acquires, and develops midstream energy assets in the Rocky Mountains, the Mid-Continent, North-central Pennsylvania, and Texas. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.80.

The average volume for Western Gas Partners has been 347,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Western Gas Partners has a market cap of $7.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 20.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Western Gas Partners

TheStreet Recommends

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.72, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.23, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 47.34% is the gross profit margin for WESTERN GAS PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 27.46% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $145.43 million or 3.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -20.65%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 11.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $99.17 million to $110.52 million.

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Ryman Hospitality Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

Ryman Hospitality Properties

(NYSE:

RHP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. owns and operates hotels in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.85.

The average volume for Ryman Hospitality Properties has been 290,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ryman Hospitality Properties has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Ryman Hospitality Properties

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 47.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $27.99 million to $41.39 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.16 versus $1.77 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 2.3% in earnings ($2.11 versus $2.16).

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Energy Transfer Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Energy Transfer Partners

(NYSE:

ETP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 68.24.

The average volume for Energy Transfer Partners has been 2,532,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Energy Transfer Partners has a market cap of $25.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Energy Transfer Partners

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 33.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $471.00 million to $627.00 million.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, ETP has outperformed against the industry average of 34.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP's earnings per share declined by 15.2% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.65 versus -$0.24 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 33.6% in earnings ($1.10 versus $1.65).
  • The gross profit margin for ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.44%. Regardless of ETP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ETP's net profit margin of 5.43% compares favorably to the industry average.

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