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 "Hold."

America First Multifamily Investors

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

America First Multifamily Investors

(NASDAQ:

ATAX

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

America First Multifamily Investors, L.P. acquires, holds, sells, and deals in a portfolio of mortgage revenue bonds that have been issued to provide construction and/or permanent financing for multifamily and student housing, and commercial properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.43.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 105,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $324.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

America First Multifamily Investors

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ATAX's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 15.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 63.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP is currently very high, coming in at 86.71%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 48.02% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP 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, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP reported lower earnings of $0.25 versus $0.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.28 versus $0.25).
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ATAX has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 5.28% 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.

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Exterran Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.40%

Exterran Partners

(NASDAQ:

EXLP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

Exterran Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides natural gas contract operations services to customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.04.

The average volume for Exterran Partners has been 208,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Exterran Partners has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 7.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Exterran Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 31.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.6%. 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.
  • 48.19% is the gross profit margin for EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.04% trails the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.07%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 57.69% compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Energy Equipment & Services industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 36.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $18.10 million to $11.50 million.
  • EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP 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 suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $0.88 versus $1.18 in the prior year.

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New Media Investment Group

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

New Media Investment Group

(NYSE:

NEWM

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

New Media Investment Group Inc. owns, operates, and invests in local media assets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 883.50.

The average volume for New Media Investment Group has been 310,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Media Investment Group has a market cap of $790.0 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 23.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

New Media Investment Group

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • NEWM's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 89.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 229.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$4.71 million to $6.11 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.62, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 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 Media industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW MEDIA INVESTMENT GROUP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, NEWM has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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