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: 4.70%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

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 16.89.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1,673,200 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 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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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.
  • The share price of VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP has not done very well: it is down 10.93% 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, 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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Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De (NYSE: SBS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo-SABESP provides basic and environmental sanitation services; and supplies treated water on a wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the state of Sao Paulo. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.82.

The average volume for Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De has been 2,908,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De has a market cap of $4.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Companhia De Saneamento Basico Do Estado De as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Water Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 39.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $261.67 million to $364.71 million.
  • 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 Water Utilities industry and the overall market, CIA SANEAMENTO BASICO ESTADO's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.77, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.72 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • SBS's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 39.54%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $218.04 million or 49.35% 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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Potash Corp of Saskatchewan

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Potash, Nitrogen, and Phosphate. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.13.

The average volume for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan has been 3,964,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan has a market cap of $27.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 6.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Potash Corp of Saskatchewan as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 23.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 44.48% is the gross profit margin for POTASH CORP SASK INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 21.39% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that POT's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.57, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • POT has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.73% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • 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 Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, POTASH CORP SASK INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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