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 "Hold."

Niska Gas Storage Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Niska Gas Storage Partners (NYSE: NKA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC owns and operates natural gas storage assets in North America.

The average volume for Niska Gas Storage Partners has been 81,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Niska Gas Storage Partners has a market cap of $521.1 million and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Niska Gas Storage Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS is rather high; currently it is at 62.03%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -34.25% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS continued to lose money by earning -$0.24 versus -$0.63 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 125.0% in earnings (-$0.54 versus -$0.24).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.50 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.34, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Alto Palermo

Dividend Yield: 8.50%

Alto Palermo (NASDAQ: APSA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.50%.

Alto Palermo S.A. engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, leasing, management, and operation of shopping centers, as well as residential and commercial complexes in Argentina. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.19.

The average volume for Alto Palermo has been 1,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Alto Palermo has a market cap of $680.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Alto Palermo as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for ALTO PALERMO SA is rather high; currently it is at 62.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.87% is in-line with the industry average.
  • 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. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • ALTO PALERMO SA 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 not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALTO PALERMO SA increased its bottom line by earning $1.45 versus $1.19 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 Real Estate Management & Development industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 104.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $13.99 million to -$0.58 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $11.09 million or 65.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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Harvest Capital Credit

Dividend Yield: 9.60%

Harvest Capital Credit (NASDAQ: HCAP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.60%.

Harvest Capital Credit LLC is a specialty finance company providing structured credit to small businesses. Harvest Capital Credit, LLC was founded in 2011 and is based in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.17.

The average volume for Harvest Capital Credit has been 16,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harvest Capital Credit has a market cap of $86.7 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 6.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Harvest Capital Credit as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HCAP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.36 versus $0.47).
  • The gross profit margin for HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 57.09%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HCAP's net profit margin of 68.01% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • In its most recent trading session, HCAP has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors.
  • When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, HARVEST CAPITAL CREDIT CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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