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."

Columbia Property

Dividend Yield: 4.80%

Columbia Property

(NYSE:

CXP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.80%.

Columbia Property Trust, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It focuses on investing in and managing high-quality commercial office properties. The firm was formerly known as Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.96.

The average volume for Columbia Property has been 530,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Columbia Property has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Columbia Property

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.5%. 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, 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income has decreased by 19.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $24.99 million to $20.14 million.
  • The gross profit margin for COLUMBIA PROPERTY TRUST INC is rather low; currently it is at 24.70%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.43% significantly trails the industry average.

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MPLX

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

MPLX

(NYSE:

MPLX

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

MPLX LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires pipelines and other midstream assets related to the transportation and storage of crude oil, refined product, and other hydrocarbon-based products in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.68.

The average volume for MPLX has been 430,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. MPLX has a market cap of $3.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 41.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

MPLX

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. 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:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 36.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MPLX LP has improved earnings per share by 10.8% 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, MPLX LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.55 versus $1.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.96 versus $1.55).
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, MPLX's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.16, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • MPLX'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 41.40%, 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. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, MPLX is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

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Lexington Realty

Dividend Yield: 7.80%

Lexington Realty

(NYSE:

LXP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.80%.

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The company acquires, owns, and manages a portfolio of office, industrial, and retail properties net-leased to corporate tenants in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.22.

The average volume for Lexington Realty has been 1,625,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lexington Realty has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Lexington Realty

as a

hold

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $68.97 million or 11.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.42%.
  • LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST 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. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.17 versus -$0.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.40 versus $0.17).
  • The gross profit margin for LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 18.63%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -5.66% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • 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 significantly decreased by 114.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $40.41 million to -$5.98 million.

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