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."

Ryman Hospitality Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. owns and operates hotels in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.04.

The average volume for Ryman Hospitality Properties has been 439,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ryman Hospitality Properties has a market cap of $3.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 15.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ryman Hospitality Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 152.08% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 46.57% 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, RHP should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.16 versus $1.77 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.51 versus $2.16).
  • 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 107.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $30.16 million to $62.68 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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PacWest Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

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 23.54.

The average volume for PacWest Bancorp has been 671,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. PacWest Bancorp has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 2.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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 1.6%. 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 289.81%.
  • 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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AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

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 40.13.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 255,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.7% 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:
  • APU, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.7%. 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.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of 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.
  • 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings 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. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 28.8% in earnings ($1.28 versus $1.80).
  • 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.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.13 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.48, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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