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."

Old National Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Old National Bancorp operates as the holding company for Old National Bank, which provides various financial services to individual and commercial customers in the United States. It operates in two segments, Banking and Insurance. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.67.

The average volume for Old National Bancorp has been 1,000,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Old National Bancorp has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 16.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Old National Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ONB's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • OLD NATIONAL BANCORP has improved earnings per share by 8.0% 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, OLD NATIONAL BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.00 versus $0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.04 versus $1.00).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 9.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $29.25 million to $31.99 million.
  • The gross profit margin for OLD NATIONAL BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 93.88%. Regardless of ONB's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 20.55% trails the industry average.

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Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 11.60%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.60%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.54.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 585,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 48.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC has improved earnings per share by 5.4% 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, APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.73 versus $1.26 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.90 versus $1.73).
  • 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 34.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $19.16 million to $25.85 million.
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 88.14%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 49.49% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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National Health Investors

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

National Health Investors Inc. is a real estate investment trust. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. The firm invests in the health care properties primarily in the long-term care and senior housing industries. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.42.

The average volume for National Health Investors has been 242,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. National Health Investors has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 0.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates National Health Investors as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. 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 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS has improved earnings per share by 17.1% 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, NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS increased its bottom line by earning $3.03 versus $2.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.35 versus $3.03).
  • 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 33.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $25.25 million to $33.60 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $40.80 million or 29.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.99%.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS is currently very high, coming in at 76.57%. Regardless of NHI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, NHI's net profit margin of 57.90% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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