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."

New York Community Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYCB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

New York Community Bancorp, Inc. operates as a multi-bank holding company for New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank that offer banking products and financial services in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.91.

The average volume for New York Community Bancorp has been 2,535,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. New York Community Bancorp has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 5.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates New York Community Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average. The net income increased by 5.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $114.20 million to $120.26 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 71.37%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 25.67% is above that of the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, NYCB has significantly outperformed against the industry average of 32.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, NYCB 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. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

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Starwood Property

Dividend Yield: 8.50%

Starwood Property (NYSE: STWD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.50%.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. originates, acquires, finances, and manages commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments in the United States and Europe. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.90.

The average volume for Starwood Property has been 1,729,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Starwood Property has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 18.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC has improved earnings per share by 26.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.86 versus $1.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.16 versus $1.86).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 95.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $60.45 million to $117.87 million.

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MarkWest Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

MarkWest Energy Partners (NYSE: MWE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is engaged in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas. The company is also engaged in the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil.

The average volume for MarkWest Energy Partners has been 1,158,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. MarkWest Energy Partners has a market cap of $12.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates MarkWest Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 24.9%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 164.11% to $244.45 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MARKWEST ENERGY PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -6.46%.
  • 39.55% is the gross profit margin for MARKWEST ENERGY PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.73% trails the industry average.
  • MWE's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77 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. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.85 is weak.
  • MARKWEST ENERGY 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 suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MARKWEST ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $0.21 versus $1.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.21).

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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