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."

Windstream Holdings

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Windstream Holdings

(NASDAQ:

WIN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Windstream Holdings, Inc. provides communications and technology solutions in the United States. The company offers managed services and cloud computing services to businesses, as well as broadband, voice, and video services to consumers primarily in rural markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.72.

The average volume for Windstream Holdings has been 6,114,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Windstream Holdings has a market cap of $6.2 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 30.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Windstream Holdings

as a

buy

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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. In comparison to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC is rather high; currently it is at 52.78%. Regardless of WIN'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 0.95% trails the industry average.
  • WIN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing 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. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS 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. 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, WINDSTREAM HOLDINGS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.39 versus $0.29 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 51.3% in earnings ($0.19 versus $0.39).

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

Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Royal Dutch Shell

(NYSE:

RDS.B

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.44.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 754,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $237.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Royal Dutch Shell

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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 205.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,737.00 million to $5,307.00 million.
  • RDS.B's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.24 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.85 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC reported lower earnings of $5.18 versus $8.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($14.94 versus $5.18).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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

Mattel

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Mattel

(NASDAQ:

MAT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Mattel, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a range of toy products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: North America, International, and American Girl. It also publishes Advice and Activity books and the American Girl magazine. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.88.

The average volume for Mattel has been 3,785,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mattel has a market cap of $10.5 billion and is part of the consumer durables industry. Shares are down 35.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Mattel

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:

  • MAT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that MAT's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.61 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The gross profit margin for MATTEL INC is rather high; currently it is at 50.51%. Regardless of MAT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MAT's net profit margin of 16.41% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • MAT, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • MATTEL INC's earnings per share declined by 19.8% 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, MATTEL INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.60 versus $2.21 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 21.5% in earnings ($2.04 versus $2.60).
  • Looking at the price performance of MAT's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 29.94%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp decline over the past year may have been what was needed in order to bring its value into alignment with its fundamentals and others in its industry.

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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