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

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."

NGL Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

NGL Energy Partners

(NYSE:

NGL

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

NGL Energy Partners LP, through its subsidiaries, engages in the crude oil logistics, water solutions, liquids, retail propane, and refined products and renewables businesses in the United States.

The average volume for NGL Energy Partners has been 324,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. NGL Energy Partners has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

NGL Energy Partners

as a

hold

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

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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 105.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $42.33 million to $86.78 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 800.06% to $180.55 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NGL ENERGY PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -48.80%.
  • NGL ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, NGL ENERGY PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.44 versus $0.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.62 versus -$0.44).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, NGL maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.97, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NGL ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Stonemor Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Stonemor Partners

(NYSE:

STON

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

StoneMor Partners L.P., together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates cemeteries in the United States. It operates through Cemetery Operations-Southeast, Cemetery Operations-Northeast, Cemetery Operations-West, and Funeral Homes segments.

The average volume for Stonemor Partners has been 136,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Stonemor Partners has a market cap of $857.6 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Stonemor Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • STON's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, STON's share price has jumped by 26.63%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • 46.53% is the gross profit margin for STONEMOR PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of STON's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STON's net profit margin of -13.17% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, STON has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.75, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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 Diversified Consumer Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 2271.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.41 million to -$8.88 million.

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Marine Petroleum

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Marine Petroleum

(NASDAQ:

MARPS

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Marine Petroleum Trust, through its subsidiary, Marine Petroleum Corporation, operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.29.

The average volume for Marine Petroleum has been 3,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Marine Petroleum has a market cap of $14.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 34.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Marine Petroleum

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, 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 and deteriorating net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • MARPS has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MARINE PETROLEUM TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 37.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 31.9%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 28.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.49 million to $0.35 million.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 57.04%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 29.16% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.

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