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 "Sell."

USA Compression Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

USA Compression Partners (NYSE: USAC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

USA Compression Partners, LP provides natural gas compression services under term contracts with customers in the oil and gas industry in the United States. It engineers, designs, operates, services, and repairs its compression units and maintains related support inventory and equipment. The company has a P/E ratio of 33.63.

The average volume for USA Compression Partners has been 99,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. USA Compression Partners has a market cap of $646.5 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 21% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates USA Compression Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • USAC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.65% from its price level of one year ago. 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.
  • USAC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.34 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, USA COMPRESSION PRTNRS LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.58 versus $0.32 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 8.6% in earnings ($0.53 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.

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American Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.00%

American Midstream Partners (NYSE: AMID) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.00%.

American Midstream Partners, LP engages in gathering, treating, processing, and transporting natural gas, fractionating natural gas liquids (NGLs), and storing specialty chemical products in the Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States.

The average volume for American Midstream Partners has been 65,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. American Midstream Partners has a market cap of $390.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 15.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates American Midstream Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, poor profit margins and generally high debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 1571.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$5.64 million to -$94.30 million.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $3.24 million or 26.52% 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 gross profit margin for AMERICAN MIDSTREAM PRTNRS LP is rather low; currently it is at 22.12%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AMID's net profit margin of -117.61% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • AMID's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.09 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.

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Sprague Resources

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Sprague Resources (NYSE: SRLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Sprague Resources LP is engaged in the purchase, storage, distribution, and sale of refined petroleum products and natural gas in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Refined Products, Natural Gas, Materials Handling, and Other Operations. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.37.

The average volume for Sprague Resources has been 34,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sprague Resources has a market cap of $280.4 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Sprague Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 67.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$6.41 million to -$10.72 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 5.92 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 0.38, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for SPRAGUE RESOURCES LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.19%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.47% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$134.23 million or 525.04% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • SPRAGUE RESOURCES 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 reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SPRAGUE RESOURCES LP reported poor results of -$1.25 versus -$0.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.45 versus -$1.25).

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