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Market participants are pricing in a situation where the global economy is likely to fall again and resemble the sacking of Rome. So let’s call the situation out for what it is…a “fire sale” in the stock market. Still, whether in good times or apocalyptic times the goal of finding great investments should never change.

Finding sound investments at cheap prices just got easier as far we can tell. This is why investors should look at a firm’s Price/Book Value ratio when digging for deep value. This metric simply divides the price of the stock by a firm’s latest book value per share. The lower the book value the better the potential opportunity if something is not fundamentally wrong with the firm. If a firm’s P/BV ratio is below 1 this indicates that it’s trading below its theoretical “break up” value.

Return on Assets (ROA) illustrates how much a firm is generating in earnings from its assets alone. This metric gives investors a picture of how profitable the company is relative to the assets in current possession. As well, it lets investors see how efficient and effective management is at generating earnings from the firm’s assets.

We ran a screen for dividend stocks that are expensive by their P/BV ratio (X>10) given current market conditions. From this narrowed pool we screened for dividend paying companies that have strong profitability (Return on Assets (NYSE:TTM)>10%).

The P/BV ratio ranks the list from highest to lowest:

1. Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM)

Sector

Consumer Defensive

Industry

Tobacco

Market Cap

$112,082M

Beta

0.84

The company manufactures and sells tobacco products outside the US. The firm’s P/B is 30.58. PM’s ROA is 20.71%. The company has a dividend yield of 4.22%. The short interest was N/A as of 08/31/2011.

2. Cellcom Israel, Ltd. (NYSE:CEL)

Sector

Communication Services

Industry

Telecom Services

Market Cap

$2,036M

Beta

0.78

The company offers cellular communication services within Israel. It offers a range of cellular services through its cellular networks. The firm’s P/B is 25.19. CEL’s ROA is 20.40%. The company has a dividend yield of 14.23%. The short interest was 0.80% as of 08/31/2011.

3. The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU)

Sector

Financial Services

Industry

Specialty Finance

Market Cap

$9,478M

Beta

1.60

The company offers money transfer and other services internationally. The firm’s P/B is 25.00. WU’s ROA is 11.36%. The company has a dividend yield of 1.99%. The short interest was 2.30% as of 08/31/2011.

4. Strayer Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA)

Sector

Consumer Defensive

Industry

Education & Training Services

Market Cap

$946M

Beta

0.62

The company is a for-profit firm that offers a post-secondary education. The firm’s P/B is 24.69. STRA’s ROA is 31.80%. The company has a dividend yield of 5.08%. The short interest was 23.20%as of 08/31/2011.

5. Limited Brands, Inc. (LTD)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Apparel Stores

Market Cap

$12,043M

Beta

1.68

The company sells women’s and men’s apparel. The firm’s P/B is 19.27. LTD’s ROA is 12.48%. The company has a dividend yield of 1.86%. The short interest was 4.00%as of 08/31/2011.

6. Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL)

Sector

Consumer Defensive

Industry

Household & Personal Products

Market Cap

$43,259M

Beta

0.50

Colgate-Palmolive offers a variety of household, personal hygiene, and other products. The firm’s P/B is 14.58. The CL’s ROA is 19.72 %. The company has a dividend yield of 2.50 %. The short interest was 1.50%as of 08/31/2011.

7. Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Restaurants

Market Cap

$23,992M

Beta

0.85

Yum Brands is the company behind a variety of quick-service restaurants. The firm’s P/B is 13.30. YUM’s ROA is 13.92 %. The company has a dividend yield of 1.94 %. The short interest was 1.70%as of 08/31/2011.

8. The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY)

Sector

Consumer Defensive

Industry

Confectioners

Market Cap

$13,437M

Beta

0.23

The company offers a variety of snack food, chocolate, and non-chocolate confectionery products. The firm’s P/B is 13.28. HSY’s ROA is 11.93%. The company has a dividend yield of 2.29%. The short interest was 3.70%as of 08/31/2011.

9. Intercontinental Hotels Group. (NYSE:IHG)

Sector

Consumer Cyclical

Industry

Lodging

Market Cap

$4,649M

Beta

1.55

The company owns and operates hotels around the world. The firm’s P/B is 13.25. IHG’s ROA is 10.05 %. The company has a dividend yield of 3.06%. The short interest was N/A as of 08/31/2011.

10. Mercadolibre, Inc. (NASDAQ:MELI)

Sector

Industrials

Industry

Business Services

Market Cap

$2,604M

Beta

1.61

The company offers online trading services that focus on enabling e-commerce. The firm’s P/B is 13.18. MELI’s ROA is 20.78 %. The company has a dividend yield of 0.27 %. The short interest was 13.10% as of 08/31/2011.

We hope this list helps as investors do their own due diligence on dividend paying stocks.

Source: 10 High Priced Dividend Stocks With Strong Profitability