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."

Guess

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Guess (NYSE: GES) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Guess , Inc. designs, markets, distributes, and licenses lifestyle collections of contemporary apparel and accessories for men, women, and children that reflect the American lifestyle and European fashion sensibilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.63.

The average volume for Guess has been 1,095,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Guess has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the retail industry. Shares are down 34.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Guess as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels 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 disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • GES's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, GES has a quick ratio of 1.94, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 36.31% is the gross profit margin for GUESS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of GES's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.77% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, GUESS INC's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $30.60 million or 56.55% 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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MFA Financial

Dividend Yield: 9.80%

MFA Financial (NYSE: MFA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.80%.

MFA Financial, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in residential agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The company has a P/E ratio of 34.12.

The average volume for MFA Financial has been 2,118,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. MFA Financial has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates MFA Financial as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
  • MFA's revenue growth trails the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has 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 4.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $75.47 million to $78.73 million.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MFA FINANCIAL INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $66.70 million or 4.82% 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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Altisource Residential Corporation

Dividend Yield: 9.00%

Altisource Residential Corporation (NYSE: RESI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.00%.

Altisource Residential Corporation, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Altisource Residential, L.P., focuses on acquiring, owning, and managing single-family rental properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.47.

The average volume for Altisource Residential Corporation has been 506,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Altisource Residential Corporation has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 18.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Altisource Residential Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RESI's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 11.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 1206.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ALTISOURCE RESIDENTIAL CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTISOURCE RESIDENTIAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 62.57%. Regardless of RESI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RESI's net profit margin of 58.41% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that RESI's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$20.98 million or 547.23% 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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