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Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:ARCC) is a business development company that is focused on finance. It provides debt financing to middle-market companies, as well as debt financing for power generation projects and emerging growth companies. It is one of the largest business development companies in this sector and as of June 30, 2012, it has approximately $5.8 billion of total assets. It often does co-investment deals with major companies like General Electric (NYSE:GE), through various subsidiaries. It makes a wide variety of debt investments which include revolving, first lien, second lien, senior debt, subordinated debt, as well as equity investments.

This company makes investment in a wide range of industries. It is currently invested in about 144 companies, with a portfolio that is diversified by asset class, industry sector, as well as geographical diversification. It has investments in companies like Bushnell Inc., Microstar Logistics, Tripwire, Inc., Grocery Outlet, Inc., Vistar Corporation, Ivy Hill Asset Management, LP., and many others. By selecting to invest in defensive industries, and in companies with strong management, risks are reduced for shareholders.

Ares Capital recently reported solid financial results and a special "bonus" dividend of 5 cents per share to stockholders of record as of September 14, 2012. For the quarter ending on June 30, 2012, it reported GAAP net income of $90.9 million or 41 cents per share. It also reported net asset value to be $15.51 per share. This company has been raising the dividend each year since 2010. Back then the quarterly dividend was 35 cents per share, and now it is 38 cents per share, per quarter. With the earnings estimates expected to grow in 2013, this company could be poised raise the dividend in the future as well.

Investors seeking income should consider stocks like Ares Capital. When compared to well-known blue chip stocks like General Electric, which yields about 3.3%, or for example, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), with a 2.6% yield, it makes sense to consider stocks that might not be as well-known. The dividend stocks that most investors know the best, simply cannot match the yields provided by companies like Ares Capital. Analysts at UBS (NYSE:UBS) have set a buy rating on Ares Capital shares. This stock has been trending higher, so it probably makes sense to wait for a pullback. In the long run, this stock could be poised to continue to provide solid results for income investors.

Here are some key points for ARCC:
Current share price: $17.27
The 52 week range is $12.76 to $17.42
Earnings estimates for 2012: $1.59 per share
Earnings estimates for 2013: $1.68 per share
Annual dividend: $1.52 per share which yields about 9%

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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.