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."

Nordic American Offshore

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Nordic American Offshore (NYSE: NAO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. owns and operates platform supply vessels in the North Sea. It owns and operates eight vessels. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The average volume for Nordic American Offshore has been 127,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Nordic American Offshore has a market cap of $171.0 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 42.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Nordic American Offshore 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, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NORDIC AMERICAN OFFSHORE 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. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 196.8% in earnings (-$0.30 versus $0.31).
  • 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 Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 110.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $4.12 million to -$0.42 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $3.94 million or 23.40% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, NORDIC AMERICAN OFFSHORE has marginally lower results.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 55.52%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 111.11% compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.
  • 39.18% is the gross profit margin for NORDIC AMERICAN OFFSHORE which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NAO's net profit margin of -3.68% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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Theravance

Dividend Yield: 11.40%

Theravance (NASDAQ: THRX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

Theravance, Inc., a royalty management company, is focused on developing respiratory products.

The average volume for Theravance has been 901,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Theravance has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 38.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Theravance as a sell. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • THRX'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 48.72%, 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.
  • THERAVANCE INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, THERAVANCE INC reported poor results of -$0.66 versus -$0.30 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.15 versus -$0.66).
  • 48.19% is the gross profit margin for THERAVANCE INC which we consider to be strong. 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 -73.29% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 103.99% to $2.17 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, THERAVANCE INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -10.57%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry. The net income increased by 87.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$63.56 million to -$7.81 million.

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TransAlta

Dividend Yield: 13.30%

TransAlta (NYSE: TAC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 13.30%.

TransAlta Corporation operates as a non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. The company's Generation segment owns and operates hydro, wind, and natural gas- and coal-fired facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 90.00.

The average volume for TransAlta has been 180,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. TransAlta has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 39.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates TransAlta as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 48.03%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 161.11% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the heavy decline in its share price, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry.
  • 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 200.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$40.00 million to -$120.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$39.00 million or 176.47% 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 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 Independent Power Producers & Energy Traders industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TRANSALTA CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TRANSALTA CORP is rather high; currently it is at 52.51%. Regardless of TAC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAC's net profit margin of -27.39% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

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