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."

Enbridge Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. owns and operates crude oil and liquid petroleum transportation and storage assets; and natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation, and marketing assets in the United States. It operates through two segments, Liquids and Natural Gas. The company has a P/E ratio of 54.97.

The average volume for Enbridge Energy Partners has been 907,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enbridge Energy Partners has a market cap of $9.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 6.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Enbridge Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 19.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ENBRIDGE ENERGY 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ENBRIDGE ENERGY PRTNRS -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.67 versus -$0.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.02 versus $0.67).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 2541.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.10 million to $240.40 million.
  • 41.03% is the gross profit margin for ENBRIDGE ENERGY PRTNRS -LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 11.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $325.10 million or 20.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.11%.

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PDL BioPharma

Dividend Yield: 8.70%

PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ: PDLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.70%.

PDL BioPharma, Inc. manages a portfolio of patents and royalty assets in the United States and Europe. The company is involved in the humanization of monoclonal antibodies and the discovery of a new generation of targeted treatments for cancer and immunologic diseases. It offers Queen et al. The company has a P/E ratio of 3.69.

The average volume for PDL BioPharma has been 3,676,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. PDL BioPharma has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 6.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates PDL BioPharma as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PDLI's revenue growth trails the industry average of 35.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $69.04 million or 12.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PDL BIOPHARMA INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 49.78%.
  • PDLI's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98 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. Despite the fact that PDLI's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.87 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • PDL BIOPHARMA INC's earnings per share declined by 17.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PDL BIOPHARMA INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.89 versus $1.73 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.20 versus $1.89).

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Buckeye Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.90%

Buckeye Partners (NYSE: BPL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.90%.

Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates liquid petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals, Merchant Services, and Development & Logistics. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.69.

The average volume for Buckeye Partners has been 499,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Buckeye Partners has a market cap of $9.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Buckeye Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 168.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$82.75 million to $56.52 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 316.91% to $417.29 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.11%.
  • BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $2.79 versus $3.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.54 versus $2.79).
  • BPL, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 19.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 24.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 15.04%. Regardless of BPL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, BPL's net profit margin of 4.53% compares favorably to the industry average.

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