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."

New York Community Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 5.40%

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYCB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%.

New York Community Bancorp, Inc. operates as a holding company for New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank that offer banking products and financial services in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.61.

The average volume for New York Community Bancorp has been 3,092,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. New York Community Bancorp has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 15.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates New York Community Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 211.01% to $100.07 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 66.76%.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 71.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 25.58% trails the industry average.
  • NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.10 versus $1.08 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.6% in earnings ($1.06 versus $1.10).

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Ship Finance International

Dividend Yield: 10.10%

Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.10%.

Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.52.

The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 710,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 22.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ship Finance International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. 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 rose by 26.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. 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.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD increased its bottom line by earning $1.25 versus $1.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.31 versus $1.25).
  • 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 203.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $22.36 million to $67.94 million.
  • The gross profit margin for SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD is currently very high, coming in at 71.74%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 73.83% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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Liberty Property

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

Liberty Property (NYSE: LPT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

Liberty Property Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment holding trust. Through its subsidiary, it provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.40.

The average volume for Liberty Property has been 942,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Liberty Property has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Liberty Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 43.24% is the gross profit margin for LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, LPT's net profit margin of 17.33% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $83.12 million or 12.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 16.24%.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that LPT'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.

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