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."

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 10.80%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.80%.

Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.33.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 494,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 60.47%. Regardless of SFL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFL's net profit margin of 30.63% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD's earnings per share declined by 17.2% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.01 versus $2.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.45 versus $1.01).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, SFL has a quick ratio of 0.52, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

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Natural Resources Partners

Dividend Yield: 12.50%

Natural Resources Partners (NYSE: NRP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.50%.

Natural Resource Partners L.P., through its subsidiaries, owns, manages, and leases mineral properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.41.

The average volume for Natural Resources Partners has been 451,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Natural Resources Partners has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 45% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Natural Resources Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NRP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 81.79%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NRP's net profit margin of 38.69% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.80 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, NRP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.93, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $61.01 million or 23.48% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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UMH Properties

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

UMH Properties (NYSE: UMH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

UMH Properties, Inc. (UMH) is a real estate investment trust. The firm engages in the ownership and operation of manufactured home communities. It leases manufactured home spaces to private manufactured home owners, as well as leases homes to residents. The company has a P/E ratio of 120.50.

The average volume for UMH Properties has been 62,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. UMH Properties has a market cap of $218.7 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates UMH Properties as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • UMH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2.11 million or 1.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, UMH PROPERTIES INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 18.38%.
  • In its most recent trading session, UMH 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. 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 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, UMH PROPERTIES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for UMH PROPERTIES INC is rather low; currently it is at 19.91%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 7.17% significantly trails the industry average.

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