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."

BP

Dividend Yield: 6.00%

BP (NYSE: BP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

BP p.l.c. operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. It operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Rosneft. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.41.

The average volume for BP has been 5,314,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. BP has a market cap of $133.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates BP as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.52, 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 1.03, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • BP PLC's earnings per share declined by 25.4% 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 two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BP PLC reported lower earnings of $1.21 versus $7.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.36 versus $1.21).
  • BP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 38.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 40.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for BP PLC is rather low; currently it is at 17.01%. Regardless of BP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 4.80% trails the industry average.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 26.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $3,528.00 million to $2,602.00 million.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Spectra Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Spectra Energy Corp, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates a portfolio of natural gas-related energy assets in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.45.

The average volume for Spectra Energy has been 3,474,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Spectra Energy has a market cap of $21.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 12.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates Spectra Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 45.78% is the gross profit margin for SPECTRA ENERGY CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.45% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $766.00 million or 11.66% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SPECTRA ENERGY CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -53.17%.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, SE has outperformed against the industry average of 38.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • SPECTRA ENERGY CORP's earnings per share declined by 35.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SPECTRA ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.61 versus $1.55 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 24.2% in earnings ($1.22 versus $1.61).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 36.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $419.00 million to $267.00 million.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

CenterPoint Energy

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.75.

The average volume for CenterPoint Energy has been 3,648,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 18.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates CenterPoint Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 75.26% to $666.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 39.07%.
  • 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 Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • CNP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 23.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC's earnings per share declined by 30.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.42 versus $0.72 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.1% in earnings ($1.05 versus $1.42).

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet: