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."

OHA Investment

Dividend Yield: 11.00%

OHA Investment (NASDAQ: OHAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.00%.

OHA Investment Corporation is a business development company specializing in investments in small and mid size and middle market private companies.

The average volume for OHA Investment has been 38,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. OHA Investment has a market cap of $88.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 4.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates OHA Investment as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • OHA INVESTMENT CORP's earnings have gone downhill when comparing its most recently reported quarter with the same quarter a year earlier. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, OHA INVESTMENT CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.08 versus $0.19 in the prior year.
  • 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 1412.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.03 million to -$0.48 million.
  • 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, OHA INVESTMENT CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$6.27 million or 130.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 130.73%, OHA INVESTMENT CORP is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -425.92%.
  • This stock's share value has moved by only 35.26% over the past year. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.

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City Office REIT

Dividend Yield: 8.60%

City Office REIT (NYSE: CIO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.60%.

City Office REIT, Inc is an equity real estate investment trust. The fund invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It acquires, own and operate high-quality office properties. City Office REIT, Inc was formed in November 26, 2013 and is domiciled in the United States.

The average volume for City Office REIT has been 55,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. City Office REIT has a market cap of $136.1 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 12.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates City Office REIT as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for CITY OFFICE REIT INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 1.75%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -15.44% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • CIO has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 19.99% 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 17.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$2.18 million to -$1.80 million.
  • Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, CITY OFFICE REIT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 62.43% to $2.91 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.11%.

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Vanguard Natural Resources

Dividend Yield: 14.30%

Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.30%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, acquires and develops oil and natural gas properties in the United States.

The average volume for Vanguard Natural Resources has been 936,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Vanguard Natural Resources has a market cap of $853.9 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 38.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Vanguard Natural Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES 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 year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES reported lower earnings of $0.54 versus $0.75 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 36.1% in earnings ($0.35 versus $0.54).
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 16650.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$4.74 million to -$793.65 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.28 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, VNR has a quick ratio of 0.60, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $51.07 million or 32.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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