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 "Sell."

Atlas Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 17.00%

Atlas Resource Partners

(NYSE:

ARP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.00%.

Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. operates as an independent developer and producer of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Gas and Oil Production, Well Construction and Completion, and Other Partnership Management.

The average volume for Atlas Resource Partners has been 778,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Resource Partners has a market cap of $653.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 28.5% 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

Atlas Resource Partners

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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 1352.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$40.00 million to -$580.75 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.57 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated.
  • 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, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 63.21%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 816.88% compared to 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.
  • ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS 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 two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$7.79 versus -$1.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.70 versus -$7.79).

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.

Crestwood Equity Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.40%

Crestwood Equity Partners

(NYSE:

CEQP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.40%.

Crestwood Equity Partners LP provides midstream solutions to customers in the crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas sectors of the energy industry in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.57.

The average volume for Crestwood Equity Partners has been 369,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Crestwood Equity Partners has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 27.5% 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

Crestwood Equity Partners

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, generally high debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CEQP'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 57.72%, 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. 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, CEQP is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.09 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, CEQP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.91, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 20.94%. Regardless of CEQP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CEQP's net profit margin of 3.85% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of 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.

Midcoast Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Midcoast Energy Partners

(NYSE:

MEP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. engages in gathering, processing, treating, transporting, and marketing natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) in the United States. It operates through two segments, Gathering, Processing, and Transportation; and Logistics and Marketing. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.12.

The average volume for Midcoast Energy Partners has been 116,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Midcoast Energy Partners has a market cap of $317.9 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.8% 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

Midcoast Energy Partners

as a

sell

. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The gross profit margin for MIDCOAST ENERGY PARTNERS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.71%. Regardless of MEP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MEP's net profit margin of 4.27% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • MIDCOAST ENERGY PARTNERS LP 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MIDCOAST ENERGY PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.40 versus $0.21 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 70.7% in earnings ($0.41 versus $1.40).
  • Despite the weak revenue results, MEP has outperformed against the industry average of 19.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.41, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that MEP's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.52, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MIDCOAST ENERGY PARTNERS 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.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null