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 or Stephanie Link.

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."

Harsco

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Harsco

(NYSE:

HSC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Harsco Corporation provides industrial services and engineered products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Harsco Metals and Minerals, Harsco Rail, and Harsco Industrial.

The average volume for Harsco has been 569,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harsco has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 12.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Harsco

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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • HARSCO CORP 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, HARSCO CORP continued to lose money by earning -$2.81 versus -$3.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.78 versus -$2.81).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Machinery industry. The net income increased by 110.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$233.66 million to $23.64 million.
  • HSC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 28.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for HARSCO CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 30.09%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.49% trails that of the industry average.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.51 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 the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, HSC maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.79, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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AstraZeneca

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

AstraZeneca

(NYSE:

AZN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

AstraZeneca PLC is engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of medicines for cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity; and infection, neuroscience, and gastrointestinal disease areas worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.46.

The average volume for AstraZeneca has been 1,826,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. AstraZeneca has a market cap of $86.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

AstraZeneca

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 increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 15.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.55, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • ASTRAZENECA PLC has improved earnings per share by 40.5% 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, ASTRAZENECA PLC reported lower earnings of $0.98 versus $2.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.20 versus $0.98).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1,842.00 million or 25.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow ASTRAZENECA PLC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -55.25%.
  • 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 Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, ASTRAZENECA PLC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Ramco-Gershenson Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Ramco-Gershenson Properties

(NYSE:

RPT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, through its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It engages in the ownership, development, acquisition, management, and leasing of community shopping centers, regional malls, and single tenant retail properties.

The average volume for Ramco-Gershenson Properties has been 538,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ramco-Gershenson Properties has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Ramco-Gershenson Properties

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.2%. 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.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • RAMCO-GERSHENSON PROPERTIES 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. 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, RAMCO-GERSHENSON PROPERTIES swung to a loss, reporting -$0.12 versus $0.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.27 versus -$0.12).
  • 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 137.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$5.14 million to -$12.21 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RAMCO-GERSHENSON PROPERTIES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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