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."

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 10.50%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.50%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.74.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 503,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $785.6 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance 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, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ARI's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 75.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC has improved earnings per share by 16.2% 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, APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.73 versus $1.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.86 versus $1.73).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 38.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $15.86 million to $22.04 million.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.66%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 58.42% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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Manhattan Bridge Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Manhattan Bridge Capital (NASDAQ: LOAN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Manhattan Bridge Capital, Inc. provides short-term, secured, and non banking loans to real estate investors to fund their acquisition and construction of properties in the New York Metropolitan area. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.35.

The average volume for Manhattan Bridge Capital has been 53,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Manhattan Bridge Capital has a market cap of $22.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 8.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Manhattan Bridge Capital as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 60.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 101.65% 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, LOAN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC 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. During the past fiscal year, MANHATTAN BRIDGE CAPITAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.15 versus $0.10 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income increased by 121.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.19 million to $0.43 million.

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Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE: HTGC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.86.

The average volume for Hercules Technology Growth Capital has been 299,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Hercules Technology Growth Capital has a market cap of $905.3 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Hercules Technology Growth Capital as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.78%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 40.99% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 13.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.62 versus $0.92 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 30.4% in earnings ($1.13 versus $1.62).
  • The share price of HERCULES TECH GROWTH CAP INC has not done very well: it is down 7.88% 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, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $13.01 million or 86.76% 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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