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The following is a list of high yield dividend stocks that have seen a significant increase in shares shorted between 1/15 - 2/15.

Is this excessive pessimism justified, or will the inevitable short-covering provide support to these high yielding stocks? If you're a contrarian, these trends might raise a flag. Full details below.

Short trends data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.

click for expanded image

The list has been sorted by the change in shares shorted between 1/15 - 2/15.

1. Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A (BLX): Foreign Money Center Banks Industry. Market cap of $640.42M. Dividend yield 4.58%. Shares shorted increased from 646.53K to 912.45K (41.13% change). The stock has had a good month, gaining 33.72%.

2. HCP, Inc. (HCP): REIT. Market cap of $13.62B. Dividend yield 5.23%. Shares shorted increased from 14.91M to 19.10M (28.1% change). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 10.77% over the last week.

3. Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (STWD): REIT. Market cap of $1.09B. Dividend yield 7.37%. Shares shorted increased from 1.75M to 2.23M (27.43% change). The stock has gained 10.09% over the last week.

4. Advance America, Cash Advance Centers Inc. (AEA): Credit Services Industry. Market cap of $310.75M. Dividend yield 5.%. Shares shorted increased from 1.21M to 1.54M (27.27% change). Note that this is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.01). The stock has had a good month, gaining 41.24%.

5. Laclede Group Inc. (LG): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $859.39M. Dividend yield 4.22%. Shares shorted increased from 486.30K to 613.04K (26.06% change). Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.07), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 7.99% over the last week.

6. Healthcare Realty Trust Inc. (HR): REIT. Market cap of $1.54B. Dividend yield 5.24%. Shares shorted increased from 3.81M to 4.77M (25.2% change). The stock has gained 11.91% over the last week.

7. Colony Financial, Inc. (CLNY): REIT. Market cap of $302.99M. Dividend yield 5.79%. Shares shorted increased from 434.17K to 539.69K (24.3% change).

8. Macerich Co. (MAC): REIT. Market cap of $6.21B. Dividend yield 4.2%. Shares shorted increased from 5.04M to 6.26M (24.21% change). Note that this is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.65). The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.44%.

9. CMS Energy Corp. (CMS): Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $4.83B. Dividend yield 4.38%. Shares shorted increased from 11.34M to 13.98M (23.28% change). Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.59), which may be appealing to risk averse investors.

10. Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI): Business Equipment Industry. Market cap of $5.0B. Dividend yield 6.03%. Shares shorted increased from 19.51M to 23.61M (21.01% change).

11. Lorillard, Inc. (LO): Cigarettes Industry. Market cap of $11.29B. Dividend yield 6.71%. Shares shorted increased from 9.87M to 11.88M (20.36% change). The stock has gained 8.43% over the last year.

12. Bank of Montreal (BMO): Money Center Banks Industry. Market cap of $35.81B. Dividend yield 4.57%. Shares shorted increased from 14.03M to 16.87M (20.24% change). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.75% over the last week.

13. KKR Financial Holdings LLC (KFN): Asset Management Industry. Market cap of $1.53B. Dividend yield 6.23%. Shares shorted increased from 8.71M to 10.34M (18.71% change). This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.68). The stock has had a good month, gaining 16.87%.

14. Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. (AHT): REIT. Market cap of $576.82M. Dividend yield 4.07%. Shares shorted increased from 4.24M to 5.00M (17.92% change). The stock has gained 72.63% over the last year.

15. Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN): REIT. Market cap of $1.64B. Dividend yield 4.99%. Shares shorted increased from 3.39M to 3.97M (17.11% change).

16. Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO): Copper Industry. Market cap of $34.62B. Dividend yield 4.49%. Shares shorted increased from 4.85M to 5.65M (16.49% change). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.18% over the last week.

17. TICC Capital Corp. (TICC): Asset Management Industry. Market cap of $326.58M. Dividend yield 7.93%. Shares shorted increased from 1.05M to 1.20M (14.29% change). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 13.4% over the last week.

18. Portland General Electric Company (POR): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $1.78B. Dividend yield 4.41%. Shares shorted increased from 2.31M to 2.61M (12.99% change).

19. UIL Holdings Corporation (UIL): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $1.49B. Dividend yield 5.85%. Shares shorted increased from 3.23M to 3.64M (12.69% change). Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.76), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has had a good month, gaining 14.77%.

20. FirstEnergy Corp. (FE): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $11.36B. Dividend yield 5.9%. Shares shorted increased from 30.37M to 34.09M (12.25% change).

21. Franklin Street Properties Corp. (FSP): REIT. Market cap of $1.21B. Dividend yield 5.14%. Shares shorted increased from 3.48M to 3.90M (12.07% change). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.37% over the last week.

22. Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR): REIT. Market cap of $327.06M. Dividend yield 5.37%. Shares shorted increased from 626.76K to 698.22K (11.4% change). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.57%.

23. First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG): Savings & Loans Industry. Market cap of $2.96B. Dividend yield 4.52%. Shares shorted increased from 20.77M to 23.10M (11.22% change).

24. People's United Financial Inc. (PBCT): Savings & Loans Industry. Market cap of $4.51B. Dividend yield 4.99%. Shares shorted increased from 24.88M to 27.64M (11.09% change).

25. Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED): Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $14.55B. Dividend yield 4.82%. Shares shorted increased from 7.17M to 7.93M (10.6% change). The stock has gained 19.66% over the last year.

Source: Contrarian Ideas: 25 High-Yield Stocks Being Targeted by Short Sellers