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

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."

Spectra Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE: SEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Spectra Energy Partners, LP operates as an investment arm of Spectra Energy Corp. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.64.

The average volume for Spectra Energy Partners has been 245,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Spectra Energy Partners has a market cap of $14.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 11.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Spectra Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 19.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.2%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 61.94%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 47.24% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.57, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.30 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • SPECTRA ENERGY 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. 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, SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $2.84 versus $7.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.93 versus $2.84).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 47.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $540.00 million to $283.00 million.

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PacWest Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

PacWest Bancorp operates as the holding company for Pacific Western Bank that provides commercial banking products and services to individuals, professionals, and small to mid-sized businesses in the United States. It accepts demand, money market, and time deposits. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.23.

The average volume for PacWest Bancorp has been 649,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. PacWest Bancorp has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 3.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates PacWest Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PACW's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 178.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PACWEST BANCORP 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, PACWEST BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $1.08 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.78 versus $1.97).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 2183.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.11 million to $71.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 1242.72% to $184.85 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PACWEST BANCORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 296.61%.
  • The gross profit margin for PACWEST BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 92.46%. Regardless of PACW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PACW's net profit margin of 31.92% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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Sabra Health Care REIT

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Sabra Health Care REIT (NASDAQ: SBRA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. The company, through its subsidiaries, owns and invests in real estate properties for the healthcare industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.36.

The average volume for Sabra Health Care REIT has been 539,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sabra Health Care REIT has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sabra Health Care REIT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 48.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the 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. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • SABRA HEALTH CARE REIT INC has improved earnings per share by 29.6% 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, SABRA HEALTH CARE REIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.69 versus $0.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.44 versus $0.69).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 71.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $13.00 million to $22.25 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $14.10 million or 9.38% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SABRA HEALTH CARE REIT INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 10.56%.

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