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."

Education Realty

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Education Realty (NYSE: EDR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

EdR is a real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of United States. It invests collegiate housing communities. The firm develops, acquires, owns, and manages collegiate housing communities located near university campuses. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.31.

The average volume for Education Realty has been 367,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Education Realty has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 6.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Education Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • EDR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.98 versus $0.15 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 64.3% in earnings ($0.35 versus $0.98).
  • The gross profit margin for EDUCATION REALTY TRUST INC is rather low; currently it is at 15.40%. Despite the low profit margin, it has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EDR's net profit margin of 5.10% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $16.82 million or 13.66% 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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HCP

Dividend Yield: 5.80%

HCP (NYSE: HCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.80%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.18.

The average volume for HCP has been 3,512,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. HCP has a market cap of $18.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 10.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates HCP as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins 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, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HCP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.5%. 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 gross profit margin for HCP INC is rather high; currently it is at 58.08%. Regardless of HCP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 26.61% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has remained constant at $363.92 million with no significant change when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite stable cash flow, HCP INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 16.32%.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, HCP INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, HCP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.78% from its price level of one year ago. 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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CenterPoint Energy

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.22.

The average volume for CenterPoint Energy has been 3,818,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenterPoint Energy has a market cap of $8.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 20% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates CenterPoint Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $456.00 million or 37.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 41.82%.
  • CNP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income has significantly decreased by 28.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $107.00 million to $77.00 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.88 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. To add to this, CNP has a quick ratio of 0.59, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

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