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 "Hold."

Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

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 17.07.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1,631,600 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 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Valley National Bancorp as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, 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:
  • 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% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, VLY has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $14.82 million or 15.50% 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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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

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 11.32.

The average volume for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been 380,900 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 16.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK is currently very high, coming in at 76.75%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.76% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 151.63% to $2,683.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 151.63%, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 296.61%.
  • CM, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK's earnings per share declined by 20.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK reported lower earnings of $7.85 versus $8.12 in the prior year.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Commercial Banks industry. The net income has decreased by 21.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,174.00 million to $920.00 million.

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Retail Properties of America

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Retail Properties of America (NYSE: RPAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Retail Properties of America, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. It engages in acquisition, development and management of properties. The trust invests in the real estate markets of United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 112.29.

The average volume for Retail Properties of America has been 1,211,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Retail Properties of America has a market cap of $3.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Retail Properties of America as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RETAIL PPTYS OF AMERICA INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.15 versus -$0.20 in the prior year. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($0.15 versus $0.15).
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $56.06 million or 9.08% 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.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 30.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $37.09 million to $25.87 million.

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