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."

LaSalle Hotel Properties

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

LaSalle Hotel Properties

(NYSE:

LHO

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

LaSalle Hotel Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the purchase, ownership, redevelopment, and leasing of primarily upscale and luxury full-service hotels in convention, resort, and urban business markets in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.23.

The average volume for LaSalle Hotel Properties has been 1,976,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. LaSalle Hotel Properties has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

LaSalle Hotel Properties

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • LHO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. 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.
  • 43.69% is the gross profit margin for LASALLE HOTEL PROPERTIES which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LHO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LHO's net profit margin of 14.34% is significantly lower than 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 53.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $101.22 million to $47.47 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LASALLE HOTEL PROPERTIES's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Total

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

Total

(NYSE:

TOT

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

TOTAL S.A. operates as an oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Refining & Chemicals, and Marketing & Services.

The average volume for Total has been 2,643,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Total has a market cap of $106.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Total

as a

hold

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

  • TOTAL SA 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, TOTAL SA increased its bottom line by earning $2.19 versus $1.87 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.79 versus $2.19).
  • 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 71.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$5,658.00 million to -$1,626.00 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TOTAL SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • TOT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.01% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • TOT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that TOT's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.67 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.

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Spectra Energy

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

Spectra Energy

(NYSE:

SE

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

Spectra Energy Corp, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates a portfolio of natural gas-related energy assets in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.94.

The average volume for Spectra Energy has been 8,707,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Spectra Energy has a market cap of $19.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 20.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Spectra Energy

as a

hold

. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite the weak revenue results, SE has outperformed against the industry average of 32.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 17.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • SPECTRA ENERGY CORP 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 two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SPECTRA ENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $0.30 versus $1.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.19 versus $0.30).
  • 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 183.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $316.00 million to -$263.00 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SPECTRA ENERGY CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The share price of SPECTRA ENERGY CORP has not done very well: it is down 20.62% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.

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