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A high dividend yield does not always mean a high dividend - sometimes it indicates poor performance (dividend yield is dividend per share/share price). This is why it's always important to consider a dividend stock's recent performance.

For ideas, we ran a screen on stocks paying high dividend yields above 4% and sustainable payout ratios below 50%. We screened for those with significant decreases in shares shorted month-over-month, indicating a recent positive change in sentiment.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the 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 stocks pay reliable dividends? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. Aircastle LTD (AYR): Engages in the acquisition, lease, and sale of high-utility commercial jet aircraft to passenger and cargo airlines worldwide. Dividend yield at 4.42%, payout ratio at 31.84%. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.92M to 2.37M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.03% of the company's float of 53.65M shares.

2. Meredith Corp. (MDP): Engages in magazine publishing and related brand licensing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, interactive media, and video production businesses in the United States. Dividend yield at 4.39%, payout ratio at 44.14%. Shares shorted have decreased from 8.19M to 7.79M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.1% of the company's float of 36.34M shares.

3. Textainer Group Holdings Limited (TGH): Engages in the purchase, ownership, management, leasing, and disposal of intermodal containers worldwide. Dividend yield at 4.33%, payout ratio at 35.73%. Shares shorted have decreased from 1.09M to 921.69K over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.31% of the company's float of 12.83M shares.

*Short data sourced from Yahoo Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 3 High Dividend Yield Stocks With Significant Short Covering