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 "Sell."

Atlas Resource Partners

Dividend Yield: 10.20%

Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE: ARP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.20%.

Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. operates as an independent developer and producer of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Gas and Oil Production, Well Construction and Completion, and Other Partnership Management.

The average volume for Atlas Resource Partners has been 1,282,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Resource Partners has a market cap of $150.2 million and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 86.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 Atlas Resource Partners as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 29853.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.89 million to -$560.85 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 6.15 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.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 90.54%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 8085.71% 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.
  • ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP reported poor results of -$7.76 versus -$1.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.07 versus -$7.76).

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.

Fly Leasing

Dividend Yield: 7.30%

Fly Leasing (NYSE: FLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.30%.

FLY Leasing Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in purchasing and leasing commercial aircraft under multi-year contracts to various airlines worldwide.

The average volume for Fly Leasing has been 270,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Fly Leasing has a market cap of $567.0 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 Fly Leasing as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.99 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, FLY LEASING LTD -ADR's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • FLY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that FLY'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, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over the past year.
  • FLY LEASING LTD -ADR has improved earnings per share by 27.0% 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, FLY LEASING LTD -ADR reported lower earnings of $1.32 versus $1.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.05 versus $1.32).

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.

Ladder Capital

Dividend Yield: 7.90%

Ladder Capital (NYSE: LADR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

Ladder Capital Corp operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Loans, Securities, and Real Estate. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.50.

The average volume for Ladder Capital has been 154,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ladder Capital has a market cap of $767.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 27.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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 Ladder Capital as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 77.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $14.66 million to $3.31 million.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LADDER CAPITAL CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 27.03%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 78.57% 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.
  • LADDER CAPITAL CORP 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 reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LADDER CAPITAL CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.80 versus $0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.88 versus $0.80).
  • The gross profit margin for LADDER CAPITAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 70.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, LADR's net profit margin of 2.95% significantly trails the industry average.

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: