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 "Buy."

ConocoPhillips

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

ConocoPhillips

(NYSE:

COP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

ConocoPhillips explores for, develops, and produces crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.58.

The average volume for ConocoPhillips has been 9,430,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $82.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

ConocoPhillips

as a

buy

. The company's strongest point has been its strong cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 20.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, COP has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • CONOCOPHILLIPS 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CONOCOPHILLIPS reported lower earnings of $4.61 versus $6.43 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 79.3% in earnings ($0.96 versus $4.61).
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 101.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2,487.00 million to -$39.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,462.00 million or 37.04% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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

Liberty Property

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Liberty Property

(NYSE:

LPT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Liberty Property Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment holding trust. Through its subsidiary, it provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.74.

The average volume for Liberty Property has been 844,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Liberty Property has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.4% 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

Liberty Property

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in net income. 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:

  • LPT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 36.78% is the gross profit margin for LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 38.73% is above that of the industry average.
  • LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST 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, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $1.15 versus $0.70 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.0% in earnings ($1.07 versus $1.15).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 18.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $69.69 million to $82.34 million.

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

UIL Holdings

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

UIL Holdings

(NYSE:

UIL

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

UIL Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates in the regulated utility businesses. The company operates in the Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, and Gas Distribution segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.47.

The average volume for UIL Holdings has been 347,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. UIL Holdings has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 2.8% 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

UIL Holdings

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these 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:

  • UIL HOLDINGS CORP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UIL HOLDINGS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.18 versus $2.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.25 versus $2.18).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 142.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.16 million to $12.50 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $42.79 million or 26.83% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.62%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

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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