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."

Westlake Chemical Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Westlake Chemical Partners

(NYSE:

WLKP

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Westlake Chemical Partners LP focuses on producing and selling ethylene. It also sells ethylene co-products, including propylene, crude butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline, and hydrogen directly to third parties on either a spot or contract basis. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.34.

The average volume for Westlake Chemical Partners has been 161,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Westlake Chemical Partners has a market cap of $460.8 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 25% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

Westlake Chemical 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, weak operating cash flow 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 Chemicals industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 85.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $68.63 million to $10.10 million.
  • WLKP'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 33.87%, 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 debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.54 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Despite the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, the company has managed to keep a very strong quick ratio of 3.77, which shows the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $101.30 million or 5.38% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 5.38%, WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PRTNRS LP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.09%.
  • WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PRTNRS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 77.5% in earnings ($1.48 versus $6.58).

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: 18.60%

CM Finance

(NASDAQ:

CMFN

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 18.60%.

CM Finance Inc. is a business development company. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.41.

The average volume for CM Finance has been 35,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. CM Finance has a market cap of $103.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 25.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 290.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $8.08 million to -$15.40 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, CM FINANCE INC'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 47.24%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 291.52% 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.
  • CM FINANCE INC 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. 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, CM FINANCE INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.13 versus $0.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.56 versus $1.13).
  • The gross profit margin for CM FINANCE INC is currently very high, coming in at 77.18%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -154.60% is in-line with 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.

CONE Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

CONE Midstream Partners

(NYSE:

CNNX

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

CONE Midstream Partners LP acquires, owns, operates, and develops natural gas gathering and other midstream energy assets in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.59.

The average volume for CONE Midstream Partners has been 248,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. CONE Midstream Partners has a market cap of $601.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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

CONE Midstream 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 and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CNNX'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 57.28%, 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. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $16.75 million or 24.99% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow CONE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -39.19%.
  • CNNX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.23 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 0.77 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The gross profit margin for CONE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 69.72%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 38.21% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • CONE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 46.1% 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, CONE MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.20 versus $0.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.35 versus $1.20).

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: