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."

Regency Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

Regency Energy Partners (NYSE: RGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

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 128.44.

The average volume for Regency Energy Partners has been 1,782,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Regency Energy Partners has a market cap of $9.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Regency Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RGP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.7%. 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 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.
  • 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 ($0.40 versus $0.03).
  • The gross profit margin for REGENCY ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 20.43%. Regardless of RGP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, RGP's net profit margin of 6.94% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • RGP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 13.70% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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

Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 11.40%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

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 14.55.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 719,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is rather high; currently it is at 63.24%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 41.58% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL 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, 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 ($1.36 versus $1.01).
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.50 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, SFL has a quick ratio of 0.54, 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.

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

Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 19.50%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 19.50%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.45.

The average volume for Vanguard Natural Resources has been 1,143,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vanguard Natural Resources has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 11.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Vanguard Natural Resources as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VNR's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 128.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES turned its bottom line around by earning $0.75 versus -$2.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.21 versus $0.75).
  • VNR's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 57.47%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, VNR maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.80, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

null