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."

CrossAmerica Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

CrossAmerica Partners

(NYSE:

CAPL

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

CrossAmerica Partners LP engages in the wholesale distribution of motor fuels, and ownership and leasing of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels in the United States. It distributes gasoline and diesel fuel to approximately 1,100 sites located in 25 states. The company has a P/E ratio of 69.14.

The average volume for CrossAmerica Partners has been 110,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. CrossAmerica Partners has a market cap of $801.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

CrossAmerica Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CROSSAMERICA PARTNERS LP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, CROSSAMERICA PARTNERS LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.26 versus -$0.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.68 versus $0.26).
  • 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 130.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$13.64 million to $4.21 million.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CROSSAMERICA PARTNERS LP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • CAPL'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 25.24%, 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. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.63 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.33, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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Stage Stores

Dividend Yield: 8.50%

Stage Stores

(NYSE:

SSI

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.50%.

Stage Stores, Inc. operates as a specialty department store retailer in small and mid-sized towns and communities in the United States. Its merchandise portfolio comprises moderately priced brand name and private label apparel, accessories, cosmetics, footwear, and home goods. The company has a P/E ratio of 59.00.

The average volume for Stage Stores has been 575,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stage Stores has a market cap of $190.3 million and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Stage Stores

as a

hold

. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.38, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.11 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • SSI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 10.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • STAGE STORES INC's earnings per share declined by 47.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STAGE STORES INC reported lower earnings of $0.17 versus $1.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.45 versus $0.17).
  • The gross profit margin for STAGE STORES INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.88%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.17% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $71.13 million or 33.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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Navios Maritime Acquisition

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

Navios Maritime Acquisition

(NYSE:

NNA

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation provides marine transportation services worldwide. It owns a fleet of crude oil, refined petroleum product, and chemical tankers. The company has a P/E ratio of 2.79.

The average volume for Navios Maritime Acquisition has been 505,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Navios Maritime Acquisition has a market cap of $233.7 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 48.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Navios Maritime Acquisition

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.0%. 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 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 the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NAVIOS MARITIME ACQUISITION's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • NAVIOS MARITIME ACQUISITION's earnings per share declined by 23.5% 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, NAVIOS MARITIME ACQUISITION increased its bottom line by earning $0.55 versus $0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.57 versus $0.55).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.21 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, NNA's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.13, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • Looking at the price performance of NNA's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 55.09%, 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. 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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