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."

Mesa Royalty

Dividend Yield: 7.80%

Mesa Royalty (NYSE: MTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.80%.

Mesa Royalty Trust holds net overriding royalty interests in various oil and gas properties in the United States. It has interests in properties located in the Hugoton field of Kansas; the San Juan Basin field of New Mexico and Colorado; and the Yellow Creek field of Wyoming. The company has a P/E ratio of 2.99.

The average volume for Mesa Royalty has been 11,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesa Royalty has a market cap of $19.6 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 59.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Mesa Royalty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MTR has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 10.15, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The gross profit margin for MESA ROYALTY TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MTR has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MTR's net profit margin of 105.26% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MESA ROYALTY TRUST 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. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MESA ROYALTY TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $3.50 versus $1.85 in the prior year.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 66.11%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 80.15% compared to the year-earlier 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 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 80.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $2.44 million to $0.48 million.

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Solar Senior Capital

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ: SUNS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Solar Senior Capital Ltd. is a business development company specializing in investments in leveraged, middle-market companies in the United States. The fund invests in the form of senior secured loans, including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.97.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 24,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $174.4 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Solar Senior Capital as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 75.22%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 43.51% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD has improved earnings per share by 47.0% 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, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD reported lower earnings of $1.02 versus $1.11 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.34 versus $1.02).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.09 million or 98.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 98.16%, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -410.93%.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, SOLAR SENIOR CAPITAL LTD's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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America First Multifamily Investors

Dividend Yield: 9.20%

America First Multifamily Investors (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.20%.

America First Multifamily Investors, L.P. acquires, holds, sells, and deals in a portfolio of mortgage revenue bonds that have been issued to provide construction and/or permanent financing for multifamily and student housing, and commercial properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.81.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 114,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $326.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates America First Multifamily Investors as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ATAX's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 63.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP is currently very high, coming in at 86.71%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 48.02% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 50.02% to $6.88 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 72.46%.
  • 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ATAX has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.76% 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.

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