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."

Harte-Hanks

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Harte-Hanks

(NYSE:

HHS

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Harte-Hanks, Inc. provides various marketing services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Customer Interaction and Trillium Software. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.36.

The average volume for Harte-Hanks has been 318,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harte-Hanks has a market cap of $253.5 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are down 46% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Harte-Hanks

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels 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, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • HHS's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.19, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • HHS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • HARTE HANKS INC 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. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has managed its earnings and share float. We anticipate this stability to falter in the coming year and, in turn, the company to deliver lower earnings per share than prior full year. During the past fiscal year, HARTE HANKS INC reported lower earnings of $0.38 versus $0.39 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 31.6% in earnings ($0.26 versus $0.38).
  • 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 Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 174.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $5.64 million to -$4.17 million.

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FS Investment

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

FS Investment

(NYSE:

FSIC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

FS Investment Corporation is a business development company specializing in investments in debt securities. It seeks to purchase interests in loans through secondary market transactions or directly from the target companies as primary market investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.58.

The average volume for FS Investment has been 782,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. FS Investment has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

FS Investment

as a

hold

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.4%. 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 FS INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 76.20%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 35.00% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, FS INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, FSIC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.94% 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 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 the Capital Markets industry average. The net income has significantly decreased by 25.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $69.31 million to $51.71 million.

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New Mountain Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

New Mountain Finance

(NYSE:

NMFC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

New Mountain Finance Corporation is a Business Development Company specializing in investments in middle market companies and debt securities at various levels of the capital structure, including first and second lien debt, unsecured notes, bonds, and mezzanine securities. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.76.

The average volume for New Mountain Finance has been 293,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. New Mountain Finance has a market cap of $807.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 6.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

New Mountain Finance

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins 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, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.4%. 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 NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP is rather high; currently it is at 68.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 53.45% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, NMFC 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.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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