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 "Sell."

USA Compression Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.70%

USA Compression Partners (NYSE: USAC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.70%.

USA Compression Partners, LP provides natural gas compression services under term contracts with customers in the oil and gas industry in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.92.

The average volume for USA Compression Partners has been 129,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. USA Compression Partners has a market cap of $588.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 18.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates USA Compression Partners as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • USAC'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 29.29%, 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. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, USAC is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.58 versus $0.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.72 versus $0.58).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income increased by 91.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.44 million to $8.50 million.
  • The gross profit margin for USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP is rather high; currently it is at 69.03%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 13.93% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $31.29 million or 18.02% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.72%.

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Rentech Nitrogen Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

Rentech Nitrogen Partners (NYSE: RNF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P. manufactures and sells nitrogen fertilizer products in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, East Dubuque and Pasadena.

The average volume for Rentech Nitrogen Partners has been 138,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has a market cap of $540.0 million and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 32.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Rentech Nitrogen Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 62.14 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, RNF has a quick ratio of 0.66, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market, RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for RENTECH NITROGEN PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 17.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -3.68% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • RNF'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 29.89%, 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • RNF, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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QEP Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

QEP Midstream Partners (NYSE: QEPM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

QEP Midstream Partners, LP is engaged in the ownership, operation, acquisition, and development of midstream energy assets in the United States.

The average volume for QEP Midstream Partners has been 166,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. QEP Midstream Partners has a market cap of $446.9 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates QEP Midstream Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $16.90 million or 59.47% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • QEPM'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 31.52%, 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • QEPM, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 20.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 21.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • QEP MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus $0.80).
  • When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, QEP MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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