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

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.

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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: 9.00%

America First Multifamily Investors

(NASDAQ:

ATAX

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

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 of multifamily residential apartments. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.20.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 119,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $334.4 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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 revenue growth, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP has improved earnings per share by 20.0% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.34 versus $0.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.40 versus $0.34).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average. The net income has decreased by 3.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3.41 million to $3.31 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness 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.

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AG Mortgage Investment

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

AG Mortgage Investment

(NYSE:

MITT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust, focuses on investing, acquiring, and managing a portfolio of residential mortgage assets, other real estate-related securities, and financial assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.58.

The average volume for AG Mortgage Investment has been 205,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. AG Mortgage Investment has a market cap of $534.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

AG Mortgage Investment

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The gross profit margin for AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 78.65%. Regardless of MITT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MITT's net profit margin of 47.46% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST's earnings per share declined by 16.7% 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, AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST turned its bottom line around by earning $3.38 versus -$1.60 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.6% in earnings ($2.48 versus $3.38).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has decreased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $16.89 million to $14.50 million.

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Cross Timbers Royalty

Dividend Yield: 7.10%

Cross Timbers Royalty

(NYSE:

CRT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.10%.

Cross Timbers Royalty Trust operates as an express trust in the United States. The company's function is to collect and distribute monthly net profits income from royalty interests and overriding royalty interests to unit holders. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.07.

The average volume for Cross Timbers Royalty has been 25,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cross Timbers Royalty has a market cap of $116.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 10.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Cross Timbers Royalty

as a

hold

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

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 19.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • CRT has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 7.90, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. CRT has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CRT's net profit margin of 97.13% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST has improved earnings per share by 10.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CROSS TIMBERS ROYALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $2.31 versus $2.48 in the prior year.
  • CRT's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 35.75%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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.

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