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."

AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.90%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.90%.

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.02.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 320,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AMERIGAS 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. 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, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.80 versus $1.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.04 versus $1.80).
  • APU, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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, despite the company's weak earnings results. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.87%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -4.45% trails that of the industry average.
  • 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 Gas Utilities industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 129.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $134.90 million to -$39.57 million.

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

CenterPoint Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.50.

The average volume for CenterPoint Energy has been 3,885,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $9.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 5.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates CenterPoint Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.2%. 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 increased to $412.00 million or 20.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.77%.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC's earnings per share declined by 5.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC reported lower earnings of $0.72 versus $0.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.16 versus $0.72).

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

Hospitality Properties

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

Hospitality Properties (NYSE: HPT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

Hospitality Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in buying, owning, and leasing hotels. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.82.

The average volume for Hospitality Properties has been 824,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hospitality Properties has a market cap of $4.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Hospitality Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 141.66% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.82% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, HPT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 78.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $27.57 million to $49.20 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $109.45 million or 17.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HOSPITALITY PROPERTIES TRUST has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -55.11%.

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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