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."

Harte-Hanks

Dividend Yield: 9.90%

Harte-Hanks

(NYSE:

HHS

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.90%.

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 average volume for Harte-Hanks has been 307,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harte-Hanks has a market cap of $209.5 million and is part of the media industry. Shares are up 6.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Harte-Hanks

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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 74.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $10.09 million to $2.54 million.
  • The gross profit margin for HARTE HANKS INC is rather low; currently it is at 19.15%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 1.95% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 59.41%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 75.00% 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.
  • 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. 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, HARTE HANKS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$2.77 versus $0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.21 versus -$2.77).
  • HHS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

General Cable

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

General Cable

(NYSE:

BGC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

General Cable Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes copper, aluminum, and fiber optic wire and cable products for the energy, industrial, construction, and specialty and communications markets worldwide.

The average volume for General Cable has been 580,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. General Cable has a market cap of $381.3 million and is part of the industrial industry. Shares are down 44.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates

General Cable

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, 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 4.73 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, BGC maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.81, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for GENERAL CABLE CORP/DE is currently extremely low, coming in at 6.44%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -5.24% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • BGC'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 50.19%, 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 Electrical Equipment industry and the overall market, GENERAL CABLE CORP/DE's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • BGC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 20.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 41.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

American Capital Senior Floating

Dividend Yield: 14.10%

American Capital Senior Floating

(NASDAQ:

ACSF

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.10%.

American Capital Senior Floating, Ltd. is a close ended fixed income mutual fund launched by American Capital Asset Management, LLC. The fund is managed by American Capital ACSF Management, LLC. It invests in fixed income markets of the United States.

The average volume for American Capital Senior Floating has been 47,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Capital Senior Floating has a market cap of $82.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 16.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates

American Capital Senior Floating

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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 911.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.43 million to -$14.42 million.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, AMERICAN CAPITAL SR FLTG LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 33.28%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 928.57% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL SR FLTG LTD 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 year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN CAPITAL SR FLTG LTD swung to a loss, reporting -$1.46 versus $0.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.20 versus -$1.46).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet: