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."

Icahn

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Icahn

(NASDAQ:

IEP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Icahn Enterprises L.P., through its subsidiaries, operates in investment, automotive, energy, metals, railcar, gaming, food packaging, real estate, and home fashion businesses in the United States, Germany, and Internationally. Its Investment segment operates various private investment funds.

The average volume for Icahn has been 84,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Icahn has a market cap of $9.2 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are down 25.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Icahn

as a

hold

. Among the primary strengths of the company is its generally strong cash flow from operations. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1041.66% to $339.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.48%.
  • IEP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 4.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 22.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP swung to a loss, reporting -$2.92 versus $8.98 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.24 versus -$2.92).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.30 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Industrial Conglomerates industry and the overall market, ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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.

Universal Technical Institute

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Universal Technical Institute

(NYSE:

UTI

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. provides postsecondary education services for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 52.89.

The average volume for Universal Technical Institute has been 78,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Universal Technical Institute has a market cap of $117.3 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are down 51.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

Universal Technical Institute

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • UTI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.26 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.83 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 43.96% is the gross profit margin for UNIVERSAL TECHNICAL INST which we consider to be strong. Regardless of UTI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, UTI's net profit margin of -3.49% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 54.67%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 1300.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, UTI is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to -$8.90 million or 38.93% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, UNIVERSAL TECHNICAL INST has marginally lower results.

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.

CM Finance

Dividend Yield: 12.00%

CM Finance

(NASDAQ:

CMFN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.00%.

CM Finance Inc. is a business development company. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.35.

The average volume for CM Finance has been 33,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. CM Finance has a market cap of $158.0 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

CM Finance

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CMFN's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 50.5%. 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 improved to $3.67 million from having none in the same quarter last year. Since the company had no net operating cash flow for the prior period, we cannot calculate a percent change in order to compare its growth rate with that of its industry average.
  • When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, CM FINANCE INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CM FINANCE INC is currently very high, coming in at 72.10%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CMFN's net profit margin of -22.93% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 133.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $5.70 million to -$1.91 million.

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: