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."

Rayonier

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Rayonier (NYSE: RYN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Rayonier Inc. operates as an investment arm of Rayonier TRS Operating Company. Rayonier, Inc. engages in the sale and development of real estate and timberland management, as well as in the production and sale of cellulose fibers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 52.80.

The average volume for Rayonier has been 1,240,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rayonier has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are down 14.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Rayonier as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. 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 deteriorating net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 29.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RAYONIER INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for RAYONIER INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.09%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -1.29% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • RAYONIER INC 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, RAYONIER INC reported lower earnings of $0.43 versus $0.80 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 18.6% in earnings ($0.35 versus $0.43).
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 109.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $16.35 million to -$1.50 million.

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Apollo Investment

Dividend Yield: 11.70%

Apollo Investment (NASDAQ: AINV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.70%.

Apollo Investment Corporation is business development company and operates as a closed-end management investment company. The company invests in middle market companies. It provides direct equity capital, mezzanine and senior secured loans, and subordinated debt and loans. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.28.

The average volume for Apollo Investment has been 1,411,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Investment has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Investment as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 214.36% to $176.43 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -430.45%.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 72.22%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.28% trails the industry average.
  • AINV, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The share price of APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP has not done very well: it is down 20.82% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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EnLink Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.80%

EnLink Midstream Partners (NYSE: ENLK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.80%.

Enlink Midstream Partners, LP, through its subsidiary, EnLink Midstream Operating, LP, provides midstream energy services. The company has a P/E ratio of 31.73.

The average volume for EnLink Midstream Partners has been 596,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. EnLink Midstream Partners has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 38.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates EnLink Midstream 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 37.4%. 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.47, 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 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENLINK MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ENLINK MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 14.66%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.35% trails that of the industry average.

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