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Today I want to take a look at a few of my favorite high yielding (4%+) dividend stocks. There are a few factors that are important to me when considering high yield income investments. I want to see a good balance sheet, a price to earnings ratio under 20, and a solid dividend history. The companies that I will be looking at come from many different sectors of the economy. I feel that these companies represent appropriate opportunities for high yield dividend investing.

AT&T (NYSE:T): AT&T is a worldwide leader in global telecommunications. They currently have a market cap of 173 billion which makes it one of the largest companies on this list. T’s dividend is currently yielding 5.90%. AT&T has five year revenue growth rate of 23.21%, an EPS of $3.30, and a P/E ratio of 8.52, which is well below the sectors average. AT&T also has a very good history with its dividends having issued and increased them for 28 consecutive years.

Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT): Alliant generates, purchases, distributes, and sells electric energy and natural gas to personal and business accounts. It has a market cap of 4.48 billion and is currently trading at a 13.87 multiple. LNT’s yield is a very attractive nice 4.30% with a payout ratio of 57%. It has paid out a dividend for 46 consecutive years. It has also been increasing the dividend since 2002.

Altria (NYSE:MO): Altria is a holding company that controls some of the largest manufactures of cigarettes and other tobacco products on the planet. It currently has a P/E ratio of 16.45 with a market cap of 55 billion. MO offers a nice dividend yield of 5.80%. It also saw fit to increase its dividend by 10% this year. This should not come as a surprise for anyone who follows Altria as it has been issuing and increasing its dividends for 43 straight years. With a solid current ratio of 1.75, it doesn’t appear that it would have problems paying down there short term debts.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): Intel Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. It is another 100 billion dollar company and is trading at 9.26 P/E ratio. It has11 billion cash on hand with only 2 billion of debt. Intel is the definition of a strong balance sheet. Intel is currently yielding an impressive 4.20%. It began paying a cash dividend in 1992. Intel's dividend has steadily increased at a 33 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2003. It only has a 31% payout ratio, so there is still a lot of room for growth. Intel also has a great current ratio at 2.25 and is looking to increase revenues by 20% this year.

Reynolds American Inc Common St (NYSE:RAI): Manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States. It offers cigarettes under the brand names of Camel, Pall Mall, Winston and others. It has an attractive yield of 5.80% and is currently trading at a 16.21 multiple. It is not quite as large as Altria only having a market cap of 21.73 billion. Since 2000,it has increased its dividend every year with the exception of 2004. So far in 2011, RAI has raised its dividend 15.2%. If you don’t have a moral aversion to owning a tobacco company, you should take a look at what RAI can do for you and your portfolio.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT): Lockheed Martin Corporation engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, operation, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products in the areas of defense, space, intelligence, homeland security, and government information technology in the United States and internationally. It is a very large company with a market cap of 24 billion. LMT is currently trading at a 9.28 multiple with a 4.10% dividend yield. It also has plenty of room to grow its dividend with a 37% payout ratio. In the past 5 years, LMT raised its dividend payments annually by 20.11%. It has been issuing a dividend since 1984 and has been increasing them consecutively since 2003.

New York Community Bank Corp (NYB): Operates as a multi-bank holding company for New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank, which offer banking products and services. This is probably the most speculative stock on my list. With the uncertainty hammering the financial sector, NYB is testing its 52 week lows. However, if you are looking to add a high yielding bank stock, NYB deserves a look. It is yielding an extremely attractive 8.00% with a 10.74 P/E ratio. This company has been paying its dividend for 40 consecutive quarters. One disconcerting aspect is the payout ratio of 84%. This article helps to explain why the high payout ratio is not a threat to NYB’s dividend.

Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX): Paychex provides payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses in the United States and Germany. It is trading at almost 19 x earnings and a dividend yield of 4.70%. The payout ratio of about 87% is scary but it should be sustainable due to the company's lack of debt. By taking a look at its dividend history, you would notice it has been issuing since 1988. Although it hasn't raised its dividend since 2009, for the previous 17 years it had grown substantially.

Elli Lilly (NYSE:LLY): Is a global pharmaceutical company. LLY has a market cap of 40 billion and is presently trading at 37.17. It has bounced off the lows of early August with some ferocity. It has a very nice dividend yield of 5.50%. LLY has a P/E ratio of 8.75 with a $4.25 EPS. With a 46% payout ratio, it has ample room for dividend growth. The other aspect that scares me to some extent is that the U.S. patent protection on its number one drug Zyprexa, is set to expire later this year. This product has made up a considerable portion of its revenue over the past several years and it will be interesting to see how they go about replacing it.

Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP): develops, manufactures, and sells semiconductor products for various embedded control applications. As an alternative play to Intel, MCHP has a slightly higher yield 4.30% but a much larger P/E ratio at 15.16. It has 64% payout ratio, a solid current ratio of 6.33, and profit margin of 28.94%. I still like Intel more, but if you are looking to go in a different direction, take a look at Microchip.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK): Is an energy company, which is focused on electric power and gas distribution operations. It pays a hefty dividend with a yield of 5.4%. Duke’s dividend history is also extremely strong as it has now paid a dividend for 85 consecutive quarters. Chairman James E Rogers was recently quoted after raising the dividend as saying:

Today’s announcement is further proof we are successfully carrying out our strategy to consistently grow the dividend and provide solid returns for our investors. Today’s action also takes into account our significant reinvestment in the business and the importance of maintaining a strong balance sheet.

With a strong balance sheet to back it up, this looks and sounds like a strong endorsement to me.

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

Source: 11 High Yielding Dividend Stocks