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 three stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

Tallgrass Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.29999999999999982236431605997495353221893310546875

Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE: TEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.29999999999999982236431605997495353221893310546875.

Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP acquires, owns, develops, and operates various midstream energy assets in North America. The company operates through three segments: Natural Gas Transportation & Logistics; Crude Oil Transportation & Logistics; and Processing & Logistics. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.51.

The average volume for Tallgrass Energy Partners has been 341800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Tallgrass Energy Partners has a market cap of $2.37 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Tallgrass Energy Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 20.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.54, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.21, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 60.60% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 37.78% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, TALLGRASS ENERGY PRT LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $32.20 million or 1.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow TALLGRASS ENERGY PRT LP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -13.13%.

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Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.70000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125.

Valley National Bancorp operates as the holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, insurance, and wealth management financial services products. The company operates through Commercial Lending, Consumer Lending, and Investment Management segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.86.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 1495100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valley National Bancorp has a market cap of $2.19 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 2.8% 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 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 Commercial Banks industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 36.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $39.61 million to $25.14 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. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Piedmont Office Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.70000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125

Piedmont Office Realty (NYSE: PDM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70000000000000017763568394002504646778106689453125.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. engages in the acquisition and ownership of commercial real estate properties in the United States. Its property portfolio primarily consists of office and industrial buildings, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 66.7.

The average volume for Piedmont Office Realty has been 804500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Piedmont Office Realty has a market cap of $2.78 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 4.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Piedmont Office Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.3%. 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 $58.37 million or 24.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.50%.
  • PIEDMONT OFFICE REALTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 11.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PIEDMONT OFFICE REALTY TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.27 versus $0.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.30 versus $0.27).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, PIEDMONT OFFICE REALTY TRUST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PIEDMONT OFFICE REALTY TRUST is rather low; currently it is at 19.71%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.52% significantly trails the industry average.

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