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I have screened for stocks that have high dividend yields of more than 4% and recent analyst upgrades (during the last week or so).

This list is a quick pick list only which requires further research into each of the stocks before making an investment decision. However, I believe it can give some food for thought if you are looking for stocks with high dividend yield and recent positive fundamental changes.

1) Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas segment generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in central and western North Carolina, western South Carolina, central, southwestern Ohio, north central and southern Indiana, and northern Kentucky; and transports and sells natural gas.

The company has a market capitalization of $29.38B. It has a solid trailing and forward annual dividend yield of 4.6%, and an average dividend yield of 5.2% over the last five years.

DUK has managed to beat analysts' estimates in the last four quarters. Here is the list of recent rating changes for the company:

  • On May 23, 2012, it was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at UBS.

  • On May 17, 2012, it was upgraded from Hold to Strong Buy at Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd.

The median analyst target price for the stock is $22.

Below is the key ratio analysis for DUK and its main competitors: American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), Progress Energy Inc. (NYSE:PGN) and industry. DUK is relatively overvalued in terms of P/E (19.70) compared to AEP (9.34) and the industry (16.40), but looks better than PGN.

RatioDUKAEPPGNIND
Market cap29.38B18.52B16.16B2.63B
Revenue14.20B15.01B8.83B2.30B
Gross Margin41.05%35.61%33.10%37.39%
Operating Margin22.51%18.94%17.34%13.48%
P/E19.709.3429.9216.40
PEG4.343.512.282.44
P/S2.071.231.831.52
Div yield4.6%4.9%4.5%-

2) Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) focuses on natural gas transportation, gathering, treating and processing, storage, natural gas liquid fractionation, and oil transportation activities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline, and Midstream Gas and Liquids.

The company has a market capitalization of $17.36B. It has a solid trailing annual dividend yield of 5.5%, a forward annual dividend yield of 5.7%, and an average dividend yield of 9.3% over the last five years.

WPZ has managed to beat analysts' estimates in the three out of four last quarters, disappointing only in the last one by missing estimates.

Here is the list of recent rating changes for the company:

  • On May 23, 2012, it was upgraded from Neutral to Strong Buy at Wells Fargo.

  • On May 1, 2012, it was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.

On April 30, 2012, Williams Partners L.P. announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Caiman Energy's wholly owned subsidiary, Caiman Eastern Midstream, LLC.

The median analyst target price for the stock is $64.5.

Below is the key ratio comparison for WPZ and its main competitors: Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE:EPD), Kinder Morgan, Inc (NYSE:KMI) and the industry. WPZ is undervalued in terms of P/E compared to EPD, KMI and the industry.

RatioWPZEPDKMIIND
Market cap17.36B43.69B22.92B539.68M
Revenue6.84B45.38B8.19B1.45B
Gross Margin31.22%6.98%42.17%24.42%
Operating Margin24.62%6.59%19.95%6.25%
P/E11.3318.8665.2311.72
PEG2.480.850.681.02
P/S2.540.962.800.61

3) SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), together with its subsidiaries, operates retail and wholesale food stores in the United States. Its stores primarily sell perishable and nonperishable grocery, general merchandise, health and beauty care products, fuel, and pharmacy products to shoppers, independent retail customers, single and multiple grocery store independent operators, regional and national chains, mass merchants, and the military.

The company has a market capitalization of $1.01B. It has a solid trailing annual dividend yield of 5.6%, a forward annual dividend yield of 7.4%, and an average dividend yield of 3.8% over the last five years.

It has managed to meet or beat analysts' estimates in the last four quarters.

Here is the list of recent rating changes for the company:

  • On May 20, 2012, it was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Longbow.

The median analyst target price for the stock is $7.

4) United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI), through its subsidiaries, provides commercial and retail banking services and products in the United States. Its deposit products include checking, savings, time, and money market deposit accounts; demand deposits, statement and special savings, and NOW accounts; and variable-rate and fixed-term money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

The company has a market capitalization of $1.29B. It has a solid trailing and forward annual dividend yield of 4.8% and an average dividend yield of 4.4% over the last five years. The company pays out 75% of its earnings as dividends.

Here is the list of recent rating changes for the company:

  • On May 24, 2012, it was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform at Raymond James.

  • On May 21, 2012, it was upgraded from Neutral to Buy by Janney Montgomery Scott.

The median analyst target price for the stock is $27.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Streetinsider.

Source: 4 High Yield Dividend Stocks With Recent Broker Upgrades