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."

Plains All American Pipeline

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE: PAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., through with its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL), natural gas, and refined products in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.69.

The average volume for Plains All American Pipeline has been 2,068,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Plains All American Pipeline has a market cap of $14.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 30.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Plains All American Pipeline as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its reasonable valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PAA, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 34.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 40.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for PLAINS ALL AMER PIPELNE -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.97%. Regardless of PAA'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 1.86% trails 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 38.18%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 113.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, PAA is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • PLAINS ALL AMER PIPELNE -LP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PLAINS ALL AMER PIPELNE -LP reported lower earnings of $2.37 versus $2.80 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 20.7% in earnings ($1.88 versus $2.37).

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Excel

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Excel (NYSE: EXL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Excel Trust, Inc. engages in financing, developing, leasing, owning and managing community and power centers, grocery anchored neighborhood centers and freestanding retail properties. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in San Diego, California. The company has a P/E ratio of 72.00.

The average volume for Excel has been 727,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Excel has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 18.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Excel as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 32.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 811.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.20 million to $20.01 million.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, EXCEL TRUST INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for EXCEL TRUST INC is rather low; currently it is at 20.36%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 49.20% has significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (NYSE: CM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, a diversified financial institution, provides various financial products and services to individuals and small businesses, and commercial, corporate, and institutional clients in Canada and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.80.

The average volume for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been 339,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has a market cap of $28.4 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 18.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$1,903.00 million or 13.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 13.53%, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 795.39%.
  • CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK reported lower earnings of $7.85 versus $8.12 in the prior year.
  • CM has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 22.89% 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.

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