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."

Cedar Fair

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Cedar Fair

(NYSE:

FUN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

Cedar Fair, L.P. owns and operates amusement and water parks, and hotels in the United States and Canada. The company operates approximately 11 amusement parks, 3 outdoor water parks, 1 indoor water park, and 5 hotels. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.52.

The average volume for Cedar Fair has been 218,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cedar Fair has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Cedar Fair

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • FUN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, CEDAR FAIR -LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CEDAR FAIR -LP is rather high; currently it is at 62.66%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 25.46% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $270.80 million or 4.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CEDAR FAIR -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -50.38%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 1.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $161.90 million to $164.15 million.

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BGC Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

BGC Partners

(NASDAQ:

BGCP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

BGC Partners, Inc. operates as a brokerage company in the United Kingdom, the United States, and internationally. It operates in two segments, Financial Services and Real Estate Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 53.24.

The average volume for BGC Partners has been 1,707,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. BGC Partners has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

BGC Partners

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • BGCP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 57.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 432.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.21 million to $38.37 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 157.89% to $133.25 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BGC PARTNERS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -52.93%.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BGC PARTNERS INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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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Nordic American Tankers

Dividend Yield: 13.60%

Nordic American Tankers

(NYSE:

NAT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.60%.

Nordic American Tankers Limited, a tanker company, engages in acquiring and chartering double-hull tankers. As of December 31, 2014, it owned 24 Suezmax crude oil tankers, including two new buildings under construction. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The average volume for Nordic American Tankers has been 1,697,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nordic American Tankers has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 23% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Nordic American Tankers

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, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 36.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NAT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.28 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.68, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD continued to lose money by earning -$0.15 versus -$1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.42 versus -$0.15).
  • 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 5247.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.48 million to $25.83 million.

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