In a year when the stock markets around the globe are struggling to keep their collective heads above water, investors are searching for investment options. A common strategy in rough times is to move money into stocks that pay high dividends. If the market and stock fall 10%, but the dividend yield for the year equaled 10% for the stock, the result would be breakeven. Unfortunately it is not that simple, but adding a few stocks with high dividends to your portfolio is not a bad idea.
Below are six stocks with attractive dividend yields in a variety of sectors. Each one has something I like about it and made this list for a reason. (For the basics on dividend stocks, read The Importance Of Dividends.)
My Dividend Wishlist
Frontline is a shipping company that operates about 75 tankers used to transport crude oil from the Middle East to nearly every major continent. The price of oil has been hitting new highs on a weekly basis, and one of the reasons is increasing demand. I believe that trend will continue for the long-term and therefore shippers will be in high demand. Frontline stock has been on a tear through the first five months of 2008, and with a dividend yield of 18.3%, the performance is enhanced.
Hugoton Royalty Trust (NYSE:HGT)
This trust was formed by XTO Energy (NYSE:XTO) to pay royalties to shareholders from its sales of oil and gas. The amount of the monthly dividend depends on the price, volume and costs of the oil and gas from XTO. The majority of the income comes from the natural gas commodity, which has been strong recently and many believe has much more upside versus oil. The dividend yield of 10.9% is paid on a monthly basis and can be very volatile as the price of energy commodities fluctuates.
Aracruz Celulose (NYSE:ARA)
Aracruz is a Brazilian paper company that is the leading maker of bleached eucalyptus pulp, an ingredient in making tissue and writing paper. Interestingly, nearly all of its sales come from overseas even though Brazil is one of the fastest growing nations. Along with over one million acres of forests and plantations, the company owns mills and port terminals. Technically, the chart has one of the best long-term uptrends in the market. The dividend yield is an attractive 5.4%.
Terra Nitrogen (NYSE:TNH)
The word nitrogen may scare some, but Terra Nitrogen is merely an agriculture fertilizer company that has been benefiting from the boom in commodities prices. The fertilizer is used to improve the quality and quantity of the farmers' crops. As food becomes scarce in many parts of the world, both quality and quantity are of great importance. The company pays a dividend of 11.1% on a quarterly basis and again like most of the others, the payout can vary greatly.
Nationwide Health Properties (NYSE:NHP)
Nationwide is a healthcare property real estate investment trust (REIT) that has interests in senior housing, long-term-care facilities, and other related properties. With over 550 properties in nearly every state in the U.S., the company lives up to its name. The aging of the baby boomer generation has led to an increased demand for healthcare facilities and this trend should continue for decades. The dividend yield is 4.9% and is paid on a quarterly basis and is quite stable compared to the other stocks in this article. (To learn more, check out our related article The REIT Way.)
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
The company is the second largest bank in the U.S. based on the amount of assets and is currently in the middle of buying the country's largest mortgage broker, Countrywide Financial (NYSE:CFC). Unlike the five previous stocks, BAC is in a downtrend and hit a new four-and-a-half-year low in early June. The dividend yield has ballooned to 8.0% as the price of the stock has dropped. As long as the dividend remains and does not get cut, the stock could be a high yielding, long-term investment. The risk is that the financial crisis in the U.S. worsens and the stock continues to fall and/or the dividend is cut. Of the six stocks, BAC is the riskiest suggestion.
More than Dividends
In the end, buying a stock just for the dividend alone is not a great strategy. However, the stocks I've mentioned all have other reasons why they are attractive and the high dividend yield is a bonus to the action.
For related reading, check out Dividend Facts You May Not Know.