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."

Welltower

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

Welltower (NYSE: HCN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

Welltower Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm engages in acquiring, planning, developing, managing, repositioning and monetizing of real estate assets. It primarily invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.18.

The average volume for Welltower has been 2,436,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Welltower has a market cap of $21.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 20% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates Welltower as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HCN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WELLTOWER INC has improved earnings per share by 18.2% 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WELLTOWER INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.40 versus $0.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.47 versus $1.40).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 30.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $152.61 million to $198.40 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 61.22% to $416.98 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WELLTOWER INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.55%.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

EastGroup Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

EastGroup Properties (NYSE: EGP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

EastGroup Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), focuses on the development, acquisition, and operation of industrial properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.79.

The average volume for EastGroup Properties has been 170,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. EastGroup Properties has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 10.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates EastGroup Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, 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:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.5%. 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 slightly increased to $43.91 million or 6.62% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, EASTGROUP PROPERTIES has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 6.55%.
  • 40.43% is the gross profit margin for EASTGROUP PROPERTIES which we consider to be strong. 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 20.35% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, EASTGROUP PROPERTIES's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

GEO Group

Dividend Yield: 9.10%

GEO Group (NYSE: GEO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.10%.

The GEO Group, Inc. provides government-outsourced services specializing in the management of correctional, detention, and re-entry facilities, and the provision of community based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.83.

The average volume for GEO Group has been 534,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. GEO Group has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 28.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

TheStreet Ratings rates GEO Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.6%. 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.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GEO GROUP INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • GEO GROUP INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, GEO GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.99 versus $1.64 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.5% in earnings ($1.92 versus $1.99).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income has decreased by 1.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $38.99 million to $38.31 million.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he thinks could be potential winners. Click here to see his holdings for 14-days FREE.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet: