Legitimate High Yield Stocks are hard to come by as evidenced by the raft of dividend cuts this year, in addition to the stocks that have clearly seen the market price in a future cut when yields swell high into the double digits. Many of these stocks seemed too tempting to pass up and investors were shocked when they didn't hold up in this recession and actually lost as much or more value than those of their highly volatile brethren. For instance, consider American Capital, LTD. (ACAS) which was showing a hefty yield of close to 20% with a share price in the 20's a few months ago, but as predicted in "Hard Lessons chasing High Yields", the market was pricing in significant dividend cuts and it now trades at closer to $3 per share. The market was saying that this was not a legitimate yield assumption.
Well, market conditions have evolved such that there is a legitimate high yield stock presenting investors with an 8.4% yield. Dow Chemical (DOW) has such a prominent position in the entire supply chain of so many industries that when the going gets tough on raw material inputs, such as oil prices, it simply increases its prices and industry is generally forced to accept such price hikes (while competing firms follow in lock-step due to this leading/lagging company pricing phenomena). In fact, it has done so rapidly since 2005 when oil prices became more volatile. I've seen it first hand when I did commercial contracts for incoming materials and contract manufacturing in biopharma. Dow virtually dictates major inputs to downstream material costs and overall PPI.
Most importantly on the dividend prospects though, during the most recent earnings release in October, Chairman Andrew Liveris essentially promised investors that the dividend will not be touched. In December, he reiterated this by citing a long storied history of increasing dividends through the years and despite the tough global climate, he stated:
Dow is the only company in the Fortune 200 to have paid its regularly quarterly cash dividend without reduction or interruption since 1912...That’s 388 consecutive quarters. I’ve said it before, but I want to say it again, we will not break that streak. 
As a general rule of thumb, income investors like to see that a company's earnings are roughly double its dividend payout rate to ensure the company can withstand a downturn and still maintain its dividend. In the case of Dow, the analyst consensus for earnings for 2008 is $2.64, while 2009 shows $1.98, factoring in a continued global recession into 2009. With a $1.68 dividend rate, the stock doesn't meet this "rule of thumb." However, given the strong pricing power and a record of close to 100 years of sustained dividend payouts and a leader touting this past and future performance, I view it as highly unlikely that this dividend will be cut. Such strong statements from a CEO could have significant consequences if he did otherwise. The earnings from 2008 and 2009 will show as a blip during the long-term, and as you can see from this 10 year chart, over long periods of time, DOW has ended up roughly on part with the overall performance of the S&P 500, but with an enormous yield exceeding that of the index to boot!
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Sources:  FoxBusiness
Disclosure: As of the time of publication, the author had no position in DOW.