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

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 "Hold."

Golar LNG Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.20%

Golar LNG Partners

(NASDAQ:

GMLP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

Golar LNG Partners LP owns and operates floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Kuwait. As of April 29, 2015, it had a fleet of six FSRUs and four LNG carriers. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.80.

The average volume for Golar LNG Partners has been 170,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Golar LNG Partners has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 28.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Golar LNG Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 38.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.9%. 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.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, GOLAR LNG PARTNERS LP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GOLAR LNG PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 83.02%. Regardless of GMLP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GMLP's net profit margin of 31.30% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Looking at the price performance of GMLP's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 31.93%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than 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.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.93 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.

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KCAP Financial

Dividend Yield: 15.60%

KCAP Financial

(NASDAQ:

KCAP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 15.60%.

KCAP Financial, Inc. is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in mid market, buyouts, and mezzanine investments. It focuses on mature and middle market companies. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.17.

The average volume for KCAP Financial has been 166,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. KCAP Financial has a market cap of $198.8 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 21% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

KCAP Financial

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.5%. 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 KCAP FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 76.76%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 62.15% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • KCAP FINANCIAL 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, KCAP FINANCIAL INC reported lower earnings of $0.43 versus $0.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.71 versus $0.43).
  • KCAP'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 30.95%, 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.56 million or 166.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 166.57%, KCAP FINANCIAL INC is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -333.44%.

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Rentech Nitrogen Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.70%

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

(NYSE:

RNF

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.70%.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. produces and sells nitrogen fertilizer products in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, East Dubuque and Pasadena. The company has a P/E ratio of 112.42.

The average volume for Rentech Nitrogen Partners has been 99,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has a market cap of $524.9 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 27.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Rentech Nitrogen Partners

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.9%. 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 Chemicals industry and the overall market, RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP 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, RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.03 versus $0.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.56 versus -$0.03).
  • RNF has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.38% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 52.67 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, RNF has a quick ratio of 0.61, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

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