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."

Harsco

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

Harsco (NYSE: HSC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

Harsco Corporation provides industrial services and engineered products worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Harsco Metals and Minerals, Harsco Rail, and Harsco Industrial.

The average volume for Harsco has been 638,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Harsco has a market cap of $1.2 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 16.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Harsco 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 and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

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 Machinery industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 80.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$25.33 million to -$45.59 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.78 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, HSC maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.74, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for HARSCO CORP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.45%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -9.26% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 32.73%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 80.64% compared to the year-earlier 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.
  • 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 Machinery industry and the overall market, HARSCO CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Linn Energy

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties in the Unites States.

The average volume for Linn Energy has been 2,758,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Linn Energy has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 31.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.27 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.
  • The gross profit margin for LINN ENERGY LLC is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.01%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LINE's net profit margin of -6.96% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • LINE'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 54.58%, 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.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, LINN ENERGY LLC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $276.08 million or 22.32% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.96%.

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EV Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 11.90%

EV Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EVEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.90%.

EV Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the acquisition, development, and production of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.50.

The average volume for EV Energy Partners has been 604,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. EV Energy Partners has a market cap of $818.1 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates EV Energy 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 weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • EVEP'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 53.27%, 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 declined marginally to $31.03 million or 6.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 6.71%, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -12.96%.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • EV ENERGY PARTNERS 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, EV ENERGY PARTNERS LP turned its bottom line around by earning $2.55 versus -$1.69 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 72.2% in earnings ($0.71 versus $2.55).
  • EVEP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97 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. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.97 is weak.

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