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Company debt is always important to keep in mind when evaluating stocks because debt is a wedge between firm value and the firm’s value to shareholders. When company debt reaches high levels, it diverts money away from shareholders (away from dividends) and towards higher interest payments. Therefore high debt can threaten a company’s dividend yield.

We ran a screen on dividend stocks (paying dividend yields above 2% and sustainable payout ratios below 35%) with low debt (most recent quarter total debt to assets below 0.2). We screened this universe for companies that have beaten their industry peers on trailing-twelve-month gross, operating, and pretax margins.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these companies pay sustainable dividend yields? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE:MTB): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $10.82B. Dividend yield at 3.26%, payout ratio at 29.59%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.10. TTM gross margin at 81.58% vs. industry gross margin at 70.64%, TTM operating margin at 46.94% vs. industry operating margin at 39.22%, TTM pretax margin at 33.55% vs. industry pretax margin at 21.81%. The stock has gained 2.07% over the last year.

2. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $118.39B. Dividend yield at 3.25%, payout ratio at 32.52%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.03. TTM gross margin at 74.42% vs. industry gross margin at 58.95%, TTM operating margin at 34.39% vs. industry operating margin at 25.05%, TTM pretax margin at 34.43% vs. industry pretax margin at 24.47%. The stock has gained 11.87% over the last year.

3. S&T Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:STBA): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $533.70M. Dividend yield at 3.16%, payout ratio at 31.54%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.04. TTM gross margin at 73.41% vs. industry gross margin at 70.64%, TTM operating margin at 42.93% vs. industry operating margin at 39.22%, TTM pretax margin at 25.68% vs. industry pretax margin at 21.81%. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.01% over the last week.

4. Autoliv, Inc. (NYSE:ALV): Auto Parts Industry. Market cap of $5.91B. Dividend yield at 2.73%, payout ratio at 27.71%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.11. TTM gross margin at 24.74% vs. industry gross margin at 19.76%, TTM operating margin at 11.61% vs. industry operating margin at 7.62%, TTM pretax margin at 10.81% vs. industry pretax margin at 6.93%. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 15.24%.

5. Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ:ADI): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $10.31B. Dividend yield at 2.57%, payout ratio at 27.26%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.18. TTM gross margin at 70.83% vs. industry gross margin at 58.97%, TTM operating margin at 36.38% vs. industry operating margin at 25.06%, TTM pretax margin at 36.38% vs. industry pretax margin at 24.47%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.18% over the last week.

6. 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM): Conglomerates Industry. Market cap of $61.92B. Dividend yield at 2.53%, payout ratio at 33.64%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.17. TTM gross margin at 50.48% vs. industry gross margin at 41.56%, TTM operating margin at 21.38% vs. industry operating margin at 13.56%, TTM pretax margin at 20.85% vs. industry pretax margin at 12.94%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.64% over the last week.

7. KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC): Semiconductor Equipment & Materials Industry. Market cap of $6.69B. Dividend yield at 2.52%, payout ratio at 17.13%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.16. TTM gross margin at 63.77% vs. industry gross margin at 58.95%, TTM operating margin at 37.82% vs. industry operating margin at 25.05%, TTM pretax margin at 34.96% vs. industry pretax margin at 24.47%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.73% over the last week.

8. Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON): Aerospace/Defense Products & Services Industry. Market cap of $41.55B. Dividend yield at 2.51%, payout ratio at 32.68%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.19. TTM gross margin at 28.99% vs. industry gross margin at 26.90%, TTM operating margin at 12.34% vs. industry operating margin at 12.08%, TTM pretax margin at 10.06% vs. industry pretax margin at 7.77%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.85% over the last week.

9. Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $10.62B. Dividend yield at 2.34%, payout ratio at 27.47%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.16. TTM gross margin at 43.92% vs. industry gross margin at 38.22%, TTM operating margin at 12.85% vs. industry operating margin at 9.85%, TTM pretax margin at 12.84% vs. industry pretax margin at 9.25%. The stock has gained 8.8% over the last year.

10. United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX): Conglomerates Industry. Market cap of $75.28B. Dividend yield at 2.32%, payout ratio at 31.34%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.18. TTM gross margin at 30.46% vs. industry gross margin at 26.90%, TTM operating margin at 13.89% vs. industry operating margin at 12.08%, TTM pretax margin at 12.58% vs. industry pretax margin at 7.77%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.54% over the last week.

11. Bancolombia S.A. (NYSE:CIB): Foreign Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $13.06B. Dividend yield at 2.28%, payout ratio at 24.34%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.19. TTM gross margin at 72.41% vs. industry gross margin at 70.64%, TTM operating margin at 51.04% vs. industry operating margin at 39.22%, TTM pretax margin at 26.38% vs. industry pretax margin at 21.81%. The stock has gained 15.61% over the last year.

12. Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $3.56B. Dividend yield at 2.26%, payout ratio at 29.05%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.07. TTM gross margin at 87.90% vs. industry gross margin at 70.64%, TTM operating margin at 47.93% vs. industry operating margin at 39.22%, TTM pretax margin at 32.0% vs. industry pretax margin at 21.81%. The stock has gained 6.95% over the last year.

13. Artio Global Investors Inc. (NYSE:ART): Asset Management Industry. Market cap of $655.38M. Dividend yield at 2.19%, payout ratio at 15.90%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.14. TTM gross margin at 49.94% vs. industry gross margin at 47.88%, TTM operating margin at 49.27% vs. industry operating margin at 34.50%, TTM pretax margin at 49.41% vs. industry pretax margin at 32.77%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.63, and P/FCF ratio at 8.97. The stock has lost 30.47% over the last year.

14. BOK Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:BOKF): Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $3.73B. Dividend yield at 2.06%, payout ratio at 27.28%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.15. TTM gross margin at 87.32% vs. industry gross margin at 70.64%, TTM operating margin at 48.43% vs. industry operating margin at 39.22%, TTM pretax margin at 29.88% vs. industry pretax margin at 21.81%. The stock has gained 14.1% over the last year.

15. MTS Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:MTSC): Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry. Market cap of $614.80M. Dividend yield at 2.04%, payout ratio at 26.33%. MRQ total debt to assets at 0.10. TTM gross margin at 45.83% vs. industry gross margin at 36.81%, TTM operating margin at 13.69% vs. industry operating margin at 9.41%, TTM pretax margin at 11.61% vs. industry pretax margin at 9.80%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.81% over the last week.

*Dividend data, payout data, and total debt to assets sourced from Screener.co, profitability data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 15 Low-Debt Dividend Stocks With Impressive Profitability