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." Western Refining Dividend Yield: 5.70% Western Refining (NYSE: WNR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.70%. Western Refining, Inc. operates as an independent crude oil refiner and marketer of refined products. The company operates through four segments: Refining, NTI, WNRL, and Retail. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.24. The average volume for Western Refining has been 2,571,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Western Refining has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 31.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 Western Refining as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins. Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 34.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 31.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed against the S&P 500 and did not exceed that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 89.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $130.94 million to $13.55 million.
  • The gross profit margin for WESTERN REFINING INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 11.99%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.65% trails that of the industry average.
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Sunoco Logistics Partners Dividend Yield: 6.70% Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE: SXL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.70%. Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. transports, terminals, and stores crude oil, refined products, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company has a P/E ratio of 69.43. The average volume for Sunoco Logistics Partners has been 1,624,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Sunoco Logistics Partners has a market cap of $8.2 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 Sunoco Logistics Partners as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 119.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$127.00 million to $25.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $301.00 million or 25.41% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SUNOCO LOGISTICS PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -39.87%.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, SUNOCO LOGISTICS PARTNERS LP's return on equity has significantly outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for SUNOCO LOGISTICS PARTNERS LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 8.42%. Regardless of SXL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SXL's net profit margin of 1.08% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • SXL's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 35.64%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last 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, SXL is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
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Ship Finance International Dividend Yield: 11.90% Ship Finance International (NYSE: SFL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.90%. Ship Finance International Limited owns and operates vessels and offshore related assets in Bermuda, Cyprus, Malta, Liberia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the Marshall Islands. It is also involved in the charter, purchase, and sale of assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.06. The average volume for Ship Finance International has been 1,029,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ship Finance International has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are down 11.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 Ship Finance International as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet. Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 34.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 28.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD 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. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, SHIP FINANCE INTL LTD increased its bottom line by earning $1.87 versus $1.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.33 versus $1.87).
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that SFL'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. 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.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, SFL has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.53, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
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