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 "Sell."

Comstock Resources

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Comstock Resources

(NYSE:

CRK

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

Comstock Resources, Inc., an independent energy company, acquires, develops, explores, and produces oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its oil and gas operations are primarily located in East Texas/North Louisiana and South Texas.

The average volume for Comstock Resources has been 3,153,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Comstock Resources has a market cap of $274.7 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 19.4% 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

Comstock Resources

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.43, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • CRK'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 78.26%, 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. 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.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC 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, COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC reported poor results of -$2.29 versus -$2.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.05 versus -$2.29).
  • The gross profit margin for COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC is currently very high, coming in at 82.50%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.31% trails the industry average.

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

Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

Linn Energy

(NASDAQ:

LINE

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties. The company's properties are located in Rockies, the Mid-Continent, the Hugoton Basin, California, the Permian Basin, Michigan, Illinois, and East Texas in the United States.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 5,075,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 14.8% 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

TheStreet Recommends

Linn Energy

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.50 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.24, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LINN ENERGY LLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for LINN ENERGY LLC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.04%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -0.28% trails that of the industry average.
  • LINE'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 69.12%, 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. 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.
  • LINN ENERGY LLC 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, LINN ENERGY LLC reported poor results of -$2.78 versus -$1.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.32 versus -$2.78).

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

EV Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.60%

EV Energy Partners

(NASDAQ:

EVEP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.60%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. is engaged in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream.

The average volume for EV Energy Partners has been 594,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partners has a market cap of $834.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.4% 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

EV Energy Partners

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 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, EVEP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.98, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • EVEP'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 62.83%, 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. 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.
  • 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • EV 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.69 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.88 versus -$1.69).
  • The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 62.89%. Regardless of EVEP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EVEP's net profit margin of 50.41% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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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