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."

LTC Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

LTC Properties

(NYSE:

LTC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

LTC Properties, Inc. operates as a health care real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.41.

The average volume for LTC Properties has been 234,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. LTC Properties has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 21.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

LTC Properties

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 13.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $17.55 million to $19.86 million.
  • The gross profit margin for LTC PROPERTIES INC is currently very high, coming in at 77.98%. Regardless of LTC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LTC's net profit margin of 51.08% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $19.61 million or 9.74% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LTC PROPERTIES INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 11.39%.

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Manulife Financial

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Manulife Financial

(NYSE:

MFC

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions in Asia, Canada, and the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.98.

The average volume for Manulife Financial has been 2,312,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Manulife Financial has a market cap of $25.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 12.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Manulife Financial

as a

buy

. 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 38.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although MFC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 44.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $723.00 million to $1,045.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,701.00 million or 30.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.35%.

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Greif

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Greif

(NYSE:

GEF

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Greif, Inc. produces and sells industrial packaging products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 52.10.

The average volume for Greif has been 270,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Greif has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are up 24.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Greif

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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 Containers & Packaging industry. The net income increased by 51.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.80 million to $31.40 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 151.19% to $83.90 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GREIF INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -67.85%.
  • GREIF 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, GREIF INC reported lower earnings of $1.51 versus $1.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.30 versus $1.51).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that GEF's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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