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: 17.60%

Atlas Resource Partners

(NYSE:

ARP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.60%.

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 829,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Resource Partners has a market cap of $631.8 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 30.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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 67.54%, 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 (-$0.72 versus -$7.79).

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Student Transportation

Dividend Yield: 8.10%

Student Transportation

(NASDAQ:

STB

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.10%.

Student Transportation Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides school bus transportation services in the United States and Canada. It offers contracted, managed, special needs transportation, direct-to-parent, and charter services. The company has a P/E ratio of 183.00.

The average volume for Student Transportation has been 158,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Student Transportation has a market cap of $458.6 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 12.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Student Transportation

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • STB has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 11.92% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INC is rather low; currently it is at 24.58%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 2.24% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $7.53 million or 66.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, STUDENT TRANSPORTATION INC reported lower earnings of $0.02 versus $0.04 in the prior year.

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EV Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 14.10%

EV Energy Partners

(NASDAQ:

EVEP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.10%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.50.

The average volume for EV Energy Partners has been 608,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partners has a market cap of $692.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 27.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

EV Energy Partners

as a

sell

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, EVEP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.98, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • EVEP'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 61.87%, 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.
  • 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • EV ENERGY 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.69 versus -$0.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.71 versus -$1.69).
  • The gross profit margin for EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 62.89%. Regardless of EVEP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EVEP's net profit margin of 50.41% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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