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 "Sell."

Atlas Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 13.90%

Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.90%.

Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. operates as an independent developer and producer of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Gas and Oil Production, Well Construction and Completion, and Other Partnership Management.

The average volume for Atlas Resource Partners has been 628,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Resource Partners has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 15.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Atlas Resource Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally high debt management risk, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 232.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$6.18 million to -$20.52 million.
  • 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, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ARP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.39 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • The share price of ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has not done very well: it is down 20.64% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$1.88 versus -$1.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.33 versus -$1.88).

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LinnCo

Dividend Yield: 12.30%

LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 12.30%.

LinnCo, LLC, through its limited liability company interests in Linn Energy, LLC, focuses on the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

The average volume for LinnCo has been 1,880,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. LinnCo has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 19.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates LinnCo as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 243.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $30.13 million to -$43.14 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LINNCO LLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of LINNCO LLC has not done very well: it is down 22.93% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • LINNCO LLC 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LINNCO LLC swung to a loss, reporting -$17.73 versus $0.60 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus -$17.73).
  • LNCO, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 215.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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Nordic American Tankers

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Nordic American Tankers (NYSE: NAT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Nordic American Tankers Limited, a tanker company, is engaged in acquiring and chartering double-hull tankers. As of May 31, 2014, it had a fleet of 22 Suezmax vessels. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The average volume for Nordic American Tankers has been 1,052,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nordic American Tankers has a market cap of $697.4 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 17.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Nordic American Tankers as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$5.98 million or 90.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.17%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NAT's net profit margin of -73.10% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, NAT 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. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to 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, NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD reported poor results of -$1.67 versus -$1.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.23 versus -$1.67).

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