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."

Holly Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.80%

Holly Energy Partners

(NYSE:

HEP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.80%.

Holly Energy Partners, L.P. owns and operates petroleum product and crude pipelines, storage tanks, distribution terminals, and loading rack facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.11.

The average volume for Holly Energy Partners has been 201,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Holly Energy Partners has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Holly Energy Partners

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 generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 32.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 10.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HOLLY ENERGY PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 48.5% 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, HOLLY ENERGY PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.60 versus $1.20 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.60).
  • HEP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.54% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.49 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.

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Investors Real Estate

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

Investors Real Estate

(NYSE:

IRET

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

Investors Real Estate Trust is a real estate investment trust. The trust invests in real estate markets of United States. It is primarily engaged in investment and operation of the the real estate assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.29.

The average volume for Investors Real Estate has been 623,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Investors Real Estate has a market cap of $759.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Investors Real Estate

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth 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, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 225.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.11 million to $16.67 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.1%. 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.
  • INVESTORS REAL ESTATE 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, INVESTORS REAL ESTATE TRUST turned its bottom line around by earning $0.11 versus -$0.28 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.16 versus $0.11).
  • The gross profit margin for INVESTORS REAL ESTATE TRUST is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 29.31%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 31.54% is above that of the industry average.
  • The share price of INVESTORS REAL ESTATE TRUST has not done very well: it is down 17.45% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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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Harvest Capital Credit

Dividend Yield: 13.40%

Harvest Capital Credit

(NASDAQ:

HCAP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.40%.

Harvest Capital Credit LLC is a business development company providing structured credit to small businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.56.

The average volume for Harvest Capital Credit has been 23,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harvest Capital Credit has a market cap of $63.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 13% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Harvest Capital Credit

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 4.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.9%. 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 gross profit margin for HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 62.61%. Regardless of HCAP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HCAP's net profit margin of 16.91% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP 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, HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.52 versus $0.47 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 11.8% in earnings ($1.34 versus $1.52).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$12.42 million or 246.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 58.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.02 million to $0.84 million.

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