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It’s important to remember that stocks represent ownership interests in companies run by real management teams. How well a company is run has big implications to its stock performance.

One way to measure this is by looking at the corporate governance policies of the company, such as its board composition and shareholder rights.

RiskMetrics Group gives ratings for four areas of corporate governance, on risks related to: the board, the audit committee, the compensation committee, and shareholder rights.

We ran a screen on stocks paying dividend yields above 3% (and sustainable payout ratios below 50%) for those receiving “low risk” ratings from RiskMetrics on all four corporate governance categories.

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 are being run well? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR): Operates as an integrated energy company in the United States. Market cap of $11.61B. Dividend yield at 5.09%, payout ratio at 46.76%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has lost 14.79% over the last year.

2. Portland General Electric Company (NYSE:POR):
Operates as an integrated electric utility in Oregon. Market cap of $1.82B. Dividend yield at 4.39%, payout ratio at 47.27%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 22.87% over the last year.

3. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. Market cap of $105.70B. Dividend yield at 4.17%, payout ratio at 29.97%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 14.77% over the last year.

4. General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE): Operates as a technology, service, and finance company worldwide. Market cap of $172.89B. Dividend yield at 3.68%, payout ratio at 42.54%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.92, and P/FCF ratio at 10.97. The stock has gained 12.02% over the last year.

5. Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE): Engages in the development of energy infrastructure, operation of utilities, and provision of energy-related products and services worldwide. Market cap of $12.67B. Dividend yield at 3.66%, payout ratio at 35.42%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 3.43% over the last year.

6. EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD): Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $45.01B. Dividend yield at 3.40%, payout ratio at 44.94%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 18.75% over the last year.

7. Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG): Provides consumer packaged goods in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $174.98B. Dividend yield at 3.30%, payout ratio at 47.47%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 9.89% over the last year.

8. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS):
Manufactures and markets branded consumer foods worldwide. Market cap of $24.51B. Dividend yield at 3.22%, payout ratio at 40.56%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 8.47% over the last year.

9. Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE:PEP): Engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. Market cap of $101.97B. Dividend yield at 3.20%, payout ratio at 49.11%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 2.35% over the last year.

10. Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX):
Engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. Market cap of $197.97B. Dividend yield at 3.16%, payout ratio at 25.66%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 32.9% over the last year.

11. Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE:PKG):
Produces and sells containerboard and corrugated products in the United States. Market cap of $2.57B. Dividend yield at 3.16%, payout ratio at 31.76%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.67% over the last week.

12. Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY):
Operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. Market cap of $6.42B. Dividend yield at 3.16%, payout ratio at 36.38%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 10.02% (equivalent to 5.43 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.07% over the last week.

13. Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW): Manufactures a range of industrial products and equipment worldwide. Market cap of $22.87B. Dividend yield at 3.09%, payout ratio at 35.49%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 11.66% over the last year.

14. United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS): Provides transportation, logistics, and financial services in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $66.10B. Dividend yield at 3.09%, payout ratio at 49.51%. According to RiskMetrics, the company has "low risk" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has gained 4.79% over the last year.

*RiskMetrics ratings sourced from Yahoo! Finance, 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: 14 High Dividend Yield Stocks With Strong Corporate Governance