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 "Buy."

National Retail Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

National Retail Properties (NYSE: NNN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

National Retail Properties, Inc. is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm acquires, owns, manages, and develops retail properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.12.

The average volume for National Retail Properties has been 1,204,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. National Retail Properties has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates National Retail Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NNN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.9%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $70.69 million or 21.01% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NATIONAL RETAIL PROPERTIES has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.13%.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that NNN's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL RETAIL PROPERTIES is rather high; currently it is at 64.12%. Regardless of NNN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NNN's net profit margin of 39.39% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • 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 1.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $45.57 million to $46.19 million.

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Williams Companies

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

The Williams Companies, Inc. operates as an energy infrastructure company primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Williams Partners, Access Midstream, and Williams NGL & Petchem Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 58.53.

The average volume for Williams Companies has been 9,189,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Williams Companies has a market cap of $30.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 7.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, WILLIAMS COS INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 49.37% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS COS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 6.19% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 160.06% to $814.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WILLIAMS COS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.64%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 10.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $103.00 million to $114.00 million.

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Las Vegas Sands

Dividend Yield: 5.40%

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. develops, owns, and operates integrated resorts in Asia and the United States. The company owns and operates The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, Sands Cotai Central, the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, the Plaza Casino, and the Sands Macao in Macau, the People's Republic of China. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.19.

The average volume for Las Vegas Sands has been 6,098,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Las Vegas Sands has a market cap of $38.3 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 15% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Las Vegas Sands as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 46.52% is the gross profit margin for LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.05% is above that of the industry average.
  • LVS, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 19.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP's earnings per share declined by 28.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.51 versus $2.79 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.5% in earnings ($2.58 versus $3.51).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, LVS has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.55, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

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