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."

America First Multifamily Investors

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

America First Multifamily Investors (NASDAQ: ATAX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

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 20.62.

The average volume for America First Multifamily Investors has been 114,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. America First Multifamily Investors has a market cap of $323.0 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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 10.0%. 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.
  • AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP 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, AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY-LP reported lower earnings of $0.25 versus $0.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.36 versus $0.25).
  • 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 8.07% 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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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 15.05.

The average volume for Solar Senior Capital has been 24,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Solar Senior Capital has a market cap of $175.3 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.1%. 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).
  • 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $0.09 million or 98.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

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Ferrellgas Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.00%

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE: FGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.00%.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. distributes and sells propane and related equipment and supplies primarily in the United States. The company transports propane to propane distribution locations, tanks on customers' premises, or to portable propane tanks delivered to retailers. The company has a P/E ratio of 58.69.

The average volume for Ferrellgas Partners has been 235,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ferrellgas Partners has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ferrellgas Partners as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to other companies in the Gas Utilities industry and the overall market, FERRELLGAS PARTNERS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, FGP has outperformed against the industry average of 19.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Gas Utilities industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 23.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$47.80 million to -$58.78 million.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, FGP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 22.70% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 9.59 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.50, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.

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