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."

Valley National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Valley National Bancorp (NYSE: VLY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Valley National Bancorp operates as the holding company for the Valley National Bank that provides commercial, retail, insurance, and wealth management financial services products. The company operates through Commercial Lending, Consumer Lending, and Investment Management segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.38.

The average volume for Valley National Bancorp has been 2,311,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Valley National Bancorp has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Valley National Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 29.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $27.68 million to $35.95 million.
  • The gross profit margin for VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 79.13%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, VLY's net profit margin of 18.38% significantly trails the industry average.
  • VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP has improved earnings per share by 7.1% 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, VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP reported lower earnings of $0.57 versus $0.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($0.57 versus $0.57).

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Ryman Hospitality Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. owns and operates hotels in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.12.

The average volume for Ryman Hospitality Properties has been 227,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ryman Hospitality Properties has a market cap of $2.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Ryman Hospitality Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 76.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $15.13 million to $26.69 million.
  • 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 2.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost 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. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $75.36 million or 15.04% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.44%.
  • RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC 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 two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, RYMAN HOSPITALITY PPTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.16 versus $1.77 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.6% in earnings ($2.06 versus $2.16).

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Trustmark

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Trustmark (NASDAQ: TRMK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Trustmark Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Trustmark National Bank, which provides banking and other financial solutions to individuals and corporate institutions in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.16.

The average volume for Trustmark has been 480,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Trustmark has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Trustmark as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for TRUSTMARK CORP is currently very high, coming in at 93.99%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, TRMK's net profit margin of 19.11% significantly trails the industry average.
  • TRMK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • TRUSTMARK CORP's earnings per share declined by 16.0% 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, TRUSTMARK CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.84 versus $1.75 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 7.3% in earnings ($1.71 versus $1.84).
  • TRMK is off 5.19% from its price level of one year ago, reflecting a combination of (a) the general market trend and (b) the company's own weaknesses, including its lower earnings per share compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $37.58 million or 45.09% 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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