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."

Energy Transfer Partners

Dividend Yield: 17.80%

Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 17.80%.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 65.72.

The average volume for Energy Transfer Partners has been 7,468,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Energy Transfer Partners has a market cap of $11.9 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 19.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 104.27% to $860.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -38.77%.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Along with the very weak revenue results, ETP underperformed when compared to the industry average of 31.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 55.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 62.85%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 77.27% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, ETP is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, ETP maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.86, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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PBF Energy

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

PBF Energy (NYSE: PBF) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

PBF Energy Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the refining and supply of petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.65.

The average volume for PBF Energy has been 2,019,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. PBF Energy has a market cap of $3.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 23.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates PBF Energy as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a decline in price during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PBF ENERGY 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, PBF ENERGY INC turned its bottom line around by earning $1.82 versus -$0.03 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.39 versus $1.82).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 56.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$277.61 million to -$119.53 million.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PBF ENERGY INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 31.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 25.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was trading a year ago, PBF's share price has not changed very much due to (a) the relatively weak year-over-year performance of the overall market, (b) the company's stagnant earnings, and (c) other mixed results. 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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Royal Bank Of Canada

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE: RY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Royal Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified financial service company worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Personal & Commercial Banking; Wealth Management; Insurance; Investor & Treasury Services; and Capital Markets. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.53.

The average volume for Royal Bank Of Canada has been 1,412,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Bank Of Canada has a market cap of $70.8 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 6.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Bank Of Canada as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ROYAL BANK OF CANADA has improved earnings per share by 10.8% 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. During the past fiscal year, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA increased its bottom line by earning $6.73 versus $6.01 in the prior year.
  • 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 10.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $2,316.00 million to $2,569.00 million.
  • The gross profit margin for ROYAL BANK OF CANADA is currently very high, coming in at 81.78%. 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 25.96% trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $3,470.00 million or 43.07% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 43.07%, ROYAL BANK OF CANADA is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -96.23%.
  • RY has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 23.06% 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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