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."

Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Valley National Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, and trust and investment services. The company operates in four segments: Commercial Lending, Consumer Lending, Investment Management, and Corporate and Other Adjustments. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.66.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1,732,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valley National Bancorp has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 2.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Valley National Bancorp as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VLY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 74.67%. Regardless of VLY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, VLY's net profit margin of 13.75% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP's earnings per share declined by 45.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP reported lower earnings of $0.57 versus $0.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.65 versus $0.57).
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP has not done very well: it is down 7.30% 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. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, a diversified financial institution, provides various financial products and services to individuals and small businesses, and commercial, corporate, and institutional clients in Canada and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.41.

The average volume for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been 324,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has a market cap of $28.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 13.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK is currently very high, coming in at 75.33%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.26% trails the industry average.
  • CM, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income has decreased by 2.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $832.00 million to $809.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$9,217.00 million or 413.18% 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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Telefonica Brasil

Dividend Yield: 19.60%

Telefonica Brasil (NYSE: VIV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 19.60%.

Telefonica Brasil S.A. provides fixed-line telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in Brazil.

The average volume for Telefonica Brasil has been 1,579,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Telefonica Brasil has a market cap of $21.3 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 9.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Telefonica Brasil as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for TELEFONICA BRASIL SA is rather high; currently it is at 62.53%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • VIV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.19 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.92 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $908.34 million or 22.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 22.17%, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -30.69%.
  • TELEFONICA BRASIL SA's earnings per share declined by 13.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA reported lower earnings of $2.12 versus $2.92 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 19.1% in earnings ($1.72 versus $2.12).

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