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."

Regency Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.90%

Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.90%.

Regency Energy Partners LP is engaged in the gathering and processing, compression, treating, and transportation of natural gas; and the transportation, fractionation, and storage of natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company has a P/E ratio of 162.50.

The average volume for Regency Energy Partners has been 944,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Regency Energy Partners has a market cap of $11.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Regency Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RGP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 123.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.66, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 164.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $39.00 million to $103.00 million.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP 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, REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $0.03 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.34 versus $0.03).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

PDL BioPharma

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ: PDLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

PDL BioPharma, Inc. manages a portfolio of patents and royalty assets. The company is involved in the humanization of monoclonal antibodies and the discovery of a new generation of targeted treatments for cancer and immunologic diseases. It offers Queen et al. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.01.

The average volume for PDL BioPharma has been 3,275,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. PDL BioPharma has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 7.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates PDL BioPharma as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PDL BIOPHARMA INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, PDL BIOPHARMA INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.73 versus $1.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.09 versus $1.73).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Biotechnology industry average. The net income increased by 81.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $56.23 million to $102.24 million.
  • PDLI's revenue growth trails the industry average of 41.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PDL BIOPHARMA INC is currently very high, coming in at 95.41%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 82.50% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Sun Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Sun Communities (NYSE: SUI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Sun Communities, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It owns, operates, and develops manufactured housing communities in the midwestern, southern, and southeastern United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.10.

The average volume for Sun Communities has been 269,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sun Communities has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 31.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sun Communities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SUI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 13.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 16.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 440.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 36.51% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • SUN COMMUNITIES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, SUN COMMUNITIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.32 versus $0.20 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.42 versus $0.32).
  • 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 359.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.26 million to $24.19 million.

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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