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."

Plains GP Holdings

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

Plains GP Holdings (NYSE: PAGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

Plains GP Holdings, L.P., through its interest in Plains AAP, L.P., owns and operates midstream energy infrastructure and provides logistics services for crude oil, natural gas liquids, natural gas, and refined products in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.70.

The average volume for Plains GP Holdings has been 2,446,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Plains GP Holdings has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 30.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 Plains GP Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PAGP's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 42.39%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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, PAGP is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 5.89 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, PAGP has a quick ratio of 0.61, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$75.00 million or 154.74% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The gross profit margin for PLAINS GP HOLDINGS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 5.97%. Regardless of PAGP'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 0.45% trails the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PLAINS GP HOLDINGS LP's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.

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.

Abengoa Yield

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

Abengoa Yield (NASDAQ: ABY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

Abengoa Yield plc owns a portfolio of renewable energy, conventional power, and electric transmission line contracted assets in North America, South America, and Europe.

The average volume for Abengoa Yield has been 1,201,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Abengoa Yield has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 33.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 Abengoa Yield as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ABY's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 51.20%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.46 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, ABY has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.72, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to other companies in the Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ABENGOA YIELD PLC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ABENGOA YIELD PLC is currently very high, coming in at 73.54%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.65% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 160.74% to $41.93 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ABENGOA YIELD PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 29.25%.

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.

Avon Products

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

Avon Products, Inc. manufactures and markets beauty and related products worldwide.

The average volume for Avon Products has been 9,708,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Avon Products has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the consumer non-durables industry. Shares are down 62.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 Avon Products as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 55.23 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. To add to this, AVP 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 Personal Products industry and the overall market, AVON PRODUCTS's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $88.20 million or 16.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • AVP's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 72.92%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • The gross profit margin for AVON PRODUCTS is rather high; currently it is at 63.29%. Regardless of AVP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AVP's net profit margin of 1.57% is significantly lower than the industry average.

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: