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."

Baytex Energy

Dividend Yield: 12.80%

Baytex Energy

(NYSE:

BTE

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.80%.

Baytex Energy Corp., an oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, development, exploitation, and production of oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the United States. The company offers heavy oil, light oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids.

The average volume for Baytex Energy has been 818,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Baytex Energy has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 58.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Baytex Energy

as a

sell

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • BAYTEX 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. During the past fiscal year, BAYTEX ENERGY CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.65 versus $1.32 in the prior year.
  • 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 173.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $36.80 million to -$26.96 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, BAYTEX ENERGY CORP'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 82.73%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 148.14% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • The gross profit margin for BAYTEX ENERGY CORP is rather high; currently it is at 57.50%. Regardless of BTE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BTE's net profit margin of -10.07% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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.

American Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 13.10%

American Midstream Partners

(NYSE:

AMID

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.10%.

American Midstream Partners, LP engages in gathering, treating, processing, and transporting natural gas, fractionating natural gas liquids (NGLs), and storing specialty chemical products in the Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States.

The average volume for American Midstream Partners has been 81,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Midstream Partners has a market cap of $327.3 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 28.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

American Midstream Partners

as a

sell

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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, AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • AMID's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86 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. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.15 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • AMID'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 51.64%, 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 gross profit margin for AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP is rather low; currently it is at 20.87%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -3.05% trails the industry average.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 23.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$1.67 million to -$2.06 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.

Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT

Dividend Yield: 16.70%

Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT

(NYSE:

EARN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 16.70%.

Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT, a real estate investment trust, specializes in acquiring, investing in, and managing residential mortgage-and real estate-related assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.41.

The average volume for Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT has been 49,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT has a market cap of $120.8 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 18.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT

as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 98.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $11.05 million to $0.19 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MTG's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MTG has not done very well: it is down 22.27% 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. 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.
  • EARN, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MTG is currently very high, coming in at 87.15%. Regardless of EARN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EARN's net profit margin of 1.93% is significantly lower than the industry average.

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: