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High dividend yield stocks may seem attractive, but one thing to keep in mind is the possibility of value traps. These are stocks that appear to hold a lot of value, perhaps with a high dividend yield, but are in fact suffering from market pessimism.

Since dividend yield equals dividend per share divided by stock price per share, the more a stock price falls, the higher the dividend yield rises. We ran a screen on high dividend yield stocks for those with bearish sales trends.

We screened for stocks paying dividend yields above 4% and sustainable payout ratios below 50%. We then screened for bearish trends in revenue growth over the last year compared to growth in inventory, with faster growth in inventory than revenue over this time period.

Since inventory represents the portion of goods not yet sold, faster growth in inventory than sales is considered a negative sign.

We also screened for decreases in liquidity, with inventory increasing as a percent of current assets. Because inventory is one of the least liquid current assets, the higher proportion it is the less liquid the company.

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

Do you think these stocks could be value traps? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by increase in inventory over the last year.

1. Deer Consumer Products, Inc. (OTC:DEER): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of small home and kitchen electronic appliances. Market cap at $105.47M, most recent closing price at $3.17. Dividend yield at 6.37%, payout ratio at 16.88%. Revenue grew by 18.83% during the most recent quarter ($73.95M vs. $62.23M y/y). Inventory grew by 165.07% during the same time period ($61.02M vs. $23.02M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 19.65% to 55.71% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-12-31 to 3 months ending 2010-12-31).

2. Empire District Electric Co. (EDE): The Empire District Electric Company, together with its subsidiaries, primarily engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Market cap at $855.38M, most recent closing price at $20.36. Dividend yield at 4.90%, payout ratio at 48.63%. Revenue grew by -0.04% during the most recent quarter ($132.76M vs. $132.81M y/y). Inventory grew by 36.61% during the same time period ($62.24M vs. $45.56M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 28.27% to 35.92% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-12-31 to 3 months ending 2010-12-31).

3. Ennis Inc. (EBF): Engages in the production and sale of business forms, other business products, and apparel. Market cap at $408.36M, most recent closing price at $15.52. Dividend yield at 4.47%, payout ratio at 42.57%. Revenue grew by -9.62% during the most recent quarter ($121.85M vs. $134.82M y/y). Inventory grew by 22.9% during the same time period ($121.55M vs. $98.9M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 54.53% to 61.52% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-11-30 to 3 months ending 2010-11-30).

4. American Greetings Corp. (AM-OLD): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of greeting cards and other social expression products worldwide. Market cap at $559.09M, most recent closing price at $15.13. Dividend yield at 4.11%, payout ratio at 28.37%. Revenue grew by 7.78% during the most recent quarter ($463.62M vs. $430.14M y/y). Inventory grew by 18.13% during the same time period ($214.41M vs. $181.51M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 25.6% to 29.77% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-11-25 to 3 months ending 2010-11-26).

5. Etablissements Delhaize FreresetCie Le Lion S.A. (DEG): Operates food supermarkets in North America, Europe, and southeast Asia. Market cap at $4.92B, most recent closing price at $47.92. Dividend yield at 5.18%, payout ratio at 36.63%. Revenue grew by 7.57% during the most recent quarter ($5,640M vs. $5,243M y/y). Inventory grew by 17.67% during the same time period ($1,718M vs. $1,460M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 48.86% to 54.25% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-12-31 to 3 months ending 2010-12-31).

6. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG): Operates in the energy industry primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Market cap at $15.46B, most recent closing price at $30.60. Dividend yield at 4.65%, payout ratio at 49.25%. Revenue grew by -3.97% during the most recent quarter ($2,636M vs. $2,745M y/y). Inventory grew by 2.63% during the same time period ($1,052M vs. $1,025M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 20.29% to 26.9% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-12-31 to 3 months ending 2010-12-31).

7. STMicroelectronics NV (STM): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices. Market cap at $5.39B, most recent closing price at $5.98. Dividend yield at 6.76%, payout ratio at 36.53%. Revenue grew by -22.66% during the most recent quarter ($2,191M vs. $2,833M y/y). Inventory grew by 2.27% during the same time period ($1,531M vs. $1,497M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 22.68% to 27.44% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2011-12-31 to 3 months ending 2010-12-31).

*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 7 High Dividend Yield Stocks With Bearish Inventory Trends