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 or Stephanie Link.

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 "Buy."

Entergy

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Entergy (NYSE: ETR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the electric power production and retail electric distribution operations in the United States. It generates electricity through gas/oil, nuclear, coal, and hydro power. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.82.

The average volume for Entergy has been 1,796,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Entergy has a market cap of $13.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 17% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Entergy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 35.35% is the gross profit margin for ENTERGY CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.65% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $767.16 million or 41.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.42%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 143.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $166.98 million to $406.05 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

HCP

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

HCP (NYSE: HCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.24.

The average volume for HCP has been 2,933,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. HCP has a market cap of $19.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 14.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 12.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $230.59 million to $259.11 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • HCP INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, HCP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.96 versus $1.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.07 versus $1.96).
  • The gross profit margin for HCP INC is rather high; currently it is at 62.45%. Regardless of HCP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HCP's net profit margin of 47.58% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $247.18 million or 15.31% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HCP INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 18.83%.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.03.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 2,152,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $252.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 11.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $13,984.00 million or 20.97% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.91%.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • RDS.A's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 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 0.82 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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