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 or Stephanie Link.

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."

Lamar Advertising

Dividend Yield: 6.60%

Lamar Advertising

(NASDAQ:

LAMR

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.60%.

Lamar Advertising Company operates as an outdoor advertising company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 125.35.

The average volume for Lamar Advertising has been 1,207,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lamar Advertising has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Lamar Advertising

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.8%. 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.
  • LAMAR ADVERTISING CO's earnings per share declined by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LAMAR ADVERTISING CO increased its bottom line by earning $0.42 versus $0.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.86 versus $0.42).
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $110.85 million or 10.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LAMAR ADVERTISING CO's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 16.77%.
  • The gross profit margin for LAMAR ADVERTISING CO is rather high; currently it is at 65.42%. Regardless of LAMR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.66% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

CenturyLink

Dividend Yield: 5.40%

CenturyLink

(NYSE:

CTL

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%.

CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Consumer, Business, Wholesale, and Data Hosting.

The average volume for CenturyLink has been 4,421,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenturyLink has a market cap of $22.8 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 25.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Recommends

TheStreet Ratings rates

CenturyLink

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CTL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.3%. 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.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTURYLINK INC is rather high; currently it is at 56.93%. Regardless of CTL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.25% trails the industry average.
  • CENTURYLINK INC's earnings per share declined by 22.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CENTURYLINK INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.43 versus $1.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.63 versus -$0.43).
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.26, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.49 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Government Properties Income

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

Government Properties Income

(NYSE:

GOV

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

Government Properties Income Trust operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It primarily owns and leases office buildings that are leased mainly to government tenants. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.30.

The average volume for Government Properties Income has been 782,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Government Properties Income has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Government Properties Income

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 12.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.7%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $29.82 million or 3.36% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -24.40%.
  • GOVERNMENT PPTYS INCOME TR' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GOVERNMENT PPTYS INCOME TR increased its bottom line by earning $1.02 versus $1.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.03 versus $1.02).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 3.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $15.20 million to $14.61 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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