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Pointing to a recent study, we showed that the average return of high dividend yielding stocks was 13.04% between 1927 and 2009. Dividend stocks beat the overall market by an average of 1.36% per year in that period.

In our previous article we also showed that The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index beat the S&P 500 index over the past 1, 3, 5 and 7 years. In this article we prepared a list of 24 stocks that are in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index, have high and growing dividend yields. We believe current yields on long-term US government bonds are extremely low and high dividend stocks provide a better risk-return combination. These 24 stocks in our list returned 13.34% (including dividends) during the past 12 months, beating the government bonds by a large margin.

1. CenturyLink Inc (CTL): CenturyLink is one of the leading integrated communications companies in the United States. CTL added approximately 29,000 high-speed Internet customers during the last quarter of 2010 and currently has 2,394,000 high-speed Internet customers. CenturyLink, Inc. has recently merged with Qwest Communications (Q). This merger has been approved by the commissions in 21 states. CTL recently traded at $40.69 and has a 7.13% dividend yield. CTL gained 25.55% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 13.1. CenturyLink Inc is also one of the 35 growing dividend stocks with low PE ratios.

2. Pitney Bowes Inc (PBI): Pitney Bowes provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. PBI recently traded at $24.63 and has a 5.95% dividend yield. PBI gained 7.6% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 17.72.

3. Cincinnati Financial Corp (CINF): Cincinnati Financial Corporation is one of the leading insurance companies in the United States. CINF recently traded at $32.44 and has a 4.92% dividend yield. CINF gained 18.5% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 14.

4. Consolidated Edison Inc (ED): Consolidated Edison, Inc. provides electric, gas, and steam utility services. ED recently traded at $49.92 and has a 4.78% dividend yield. ED gained 19.74% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 14.39. Consolidated Edison Inc is also one of the 5 high dividend stocks with insider purchases.

5. Leggett & Platt (LEG): Leggett & Platt conceives, designs and produces engineered components and products worldwide. LEG recently traded at $23.69 and has a 4.52% dividend yield. LEG gained 15% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 20.59.

6. Kimberly-Clark (KMB): Kimberly-Clark produces various health care products worldwide. KMB recently traded at $65.24 and has a 4.11% dividend yield. KMB gained 7.96% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 14.57. Kimberly-Clark is also one of the 5 high dividend stocks insiders are buying.

7. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturers worldwide. JNJ recently traded at $59.03 and has a 3.66% dividend yield. JNJ lost 5.2% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 12.26. Legendary investor Warren Buffet has $2.6 billion invested in JNJ shares.

8. Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Abbott Laboratories is one of the leading global health care companies. ABT recently traded at $48.11 and has a 3.66% dividend yield. ABT lost 6.9% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 16.25.

9. Cintas Corp (CTAS): Cintas Corporation provides corporate identity uniforms and related business services primarily throughout North America. CTAS recently traded at $29.54 and has a 3.28% dividend yield. CTAS gained 6.53% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 20.22.

10. Procter & Gamble (PG): Procter & Gamble is one of the leading global companies which provides various kinds of consumer products in all around the world. PG recently traded at $61.14 and has a 3.15% dividend yield. PG gained -0.92% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 16.6.

11. McDonald's Corp (MCD): McDonald's is the world's largest chain of fast food restaurants. MCD recently traded at $74.93 and has a 3.1% dividend yield. MCD gained 15.61% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 16.46.

12. Clorox Co (CLX): Clorox provides various food and chemical products. CLX recently traded at $69.95 and has a 3.07% dividend yield. CLX gained 11.62% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 17.11.

13. PepsiCo Inc (PEP): PepsiCo Inc is one of the leading manufacturers of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PEP recently traded at $64.2 and has a 2.99% dividend yield. PEP gained -0.57% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 16.46. Bill Miller had a $226 Million position in PEP at the end of December. Jim Simons is another Pepsi investor with a $120 investment.

14. Bemis Co Inc (BMS): Bemis Co Inc manufactures flexible packaging products and pressure-sensitive materials. BMS recently traded at $31.99 and has a 2.91% dividend yield. BMS gained 12.96% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 17.33.

15. Automatic Data Processing (ADP): Automatic Data Processing provides integrated computing and business outsourcing worldwide. ADP recently traded at $50.36 and has a 2.78% dividend yield. ADP gained 18.22% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 20.85. Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman has ADP in his portfolio.

16. Coca-Cola Co (KO): Coca-Cola Co is one of the leading manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. KO recently traded at $64.69 and has a 2.77% dividend yield. KO gained 21.64% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 12.87. Warren Buffett has $13 Billion in KO shares.

17. VF Corp (VFC): V.F. Corporation designs and manufactures various apparel products. VFC recently traded at $95.16 and has a 2.59% dividend yield. VFC gained 23.36% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 18.42.

18. Chubb Corp (CB): Chubb Corp is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the world. CB recently traded at $59.98 and has a 2.5% dividend yield. CB gained 18.47% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 8.86.

19. McGraw-Hill Cos Inc (MHP): McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is one of the leading global companies which provides knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors. MHP recently traded at $38.55 and has a 2.48% dividend yield. MHP gained 11.22% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 14.58.

20. PPG Industries Inc (PPG): PPG Industries manufactures protective and decorative coatings. PPG recently traded at $88.68 and has a 2.47% dividend yield. PPG gained 41.12% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 19.37. Ken Fisher had a $531 Million position in PPG at the end of December.

21. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT): Wal-Mart Stores is one of the largest companies in the world which operates chains of large retail stores. WMT recently traded at $52.59 and has a 2.42% dividend yield. WMT gained -3.13% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 11.74. There are several prominent investors with WMT holdings. George Soros, Warren Buffett, Ken Fisher, and Bill Miller are among these people.

22. Emerson Electric Co (EMR): Emerson Electric Co provides engineering services worldwide. EMR recently traded at $57.63 and has a 2.36% dividend yield. EMR gained 19.42% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 19.77.

23. 3M Co (MMM): 3M Co is a global manufacturer, technology innovator and marketer of a variety of products. MMM recently traded at $92.58 and has a 2.3% dividend yield. MMM gained 17.3% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 16.44.

24. Air Products & Chemicals Inc (APD): Air Products & Chemicals sells gases and chemicals for industrial uses. APD recently traded at $89.84 and has a 2.18% dividend yield. APD gained 25% during the past 12 months. The stock has a P/E ratio of 18.68.

Source: 24 Best Dividend Stocks with Growing Yields