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 "Buy."

RLJ Lodging

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

RLJ Lodging

(NYSE:

RLJ

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

RLJ Lodging Trust is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm also manages real estate funds. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The firm primarily invests in premium-branded, focused service, and compact full-service hotels. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.69.

The average volume for RLJ Lodging has been 1,102,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. RLJ Lodging has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

RLJ Lodging

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • RLJ's revenue growth trails the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.7%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $55.15 million or 25.19% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.39%.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RLJ LODGING TRUST's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • RLJ LODGING TRUST's earnings per share declined by 44.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RLJ LODGING TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $1.68 versus $1.05 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 20.8% in earnings ($1.33 versus $1.68).

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 Motors

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

General Motors

(NYSE:

GM

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

General Motors Company designs, builds, and sells cars, crossovers, trucks, and automobile parts worldwide. The company operates through GM North America, GM Europe, GM International Operations, GM South America, and GM Financial segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.03.

The average volume for General Motors has been 12,100,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. General Motors has a market cap of $45.7 billion and is part of the automotive industry. Shares are down 10% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 Motors

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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 Automobiles industry. The net income increased by 106.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $945.00 million to $1,953.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Automobiles industry and the overall market, GENERAL MOTORS CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GENERAL MOTORS CO 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 two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL MOTORS CO increased its bottom line by earning $5.99 versus $1.64 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 5.2% in earnings ($5.68 versus $5.99).

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.

PacWest Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

PacWest Bancorp

(NASDAQ:

PACW

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

PacWest Bancorp operates as the holding company for Pacific Western Bank that provides commercial banking products and services. The company accepts demand, money market, and time deposits. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.20.

The average volume for PacWest Bancorp has been 845,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. PacWest Bancorp has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

PacWest Bancorp

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PACWEST BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 88.16%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 30.79% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $132.16 million or 4.48% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PACWEST BANCORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -155.59%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 23.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $73.08 million to $90.46 million.
  • PACWEST BANCORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PACWEST BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.82 versus $1.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.90 versus $2.82).

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: