Top 10 Rated Dividend Payers

As we continue our discussion about the importance of dividends and dividend growth, Investors Business Daily has recently provided a list of their Top Ten Rated Dividend Paying Stocks.
Few of these are candidates for Mergents’s Dividend Achievers, simply due to the lack of dividend payment history. However, we should not discount them because all of the companies that are dividend achievers now had to pay their first dividend sometime.

1. NorthStar Realty Finance (NRF) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 9.2%. Credit Suisse recently initiated coverage of the real estate investment trust with an outperform rating. Composite Rating: 93*

2. Apollo Investment (AINV) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 9.2%. The New York-based investment company has delivered triple-digit earnings increases in the past two quarters, but sales growth has decelerated for four straight quarters. Composite Rating: 98

3. Southern Copper (PCU) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 8.6%. The Latin American mining giant owns a Fundamental Rating of 99 (A+) from IBD Stock Checkup, ranking it No. 1 in IBD’s 53-member Metal Ores group. Composite Rating: 88

4. CapitalSource (CSE) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 7.9%. Last week, the lender to small- and medium-sized businesses said its dividends in 2007 would total at least $2.40, representing about 80% to 90% of annual adjusted earnings per share. Composite Rating: 86

5. Citizens Communications (CZN) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 7%. The company, with a market capitalization of $4.5 billion, provides full-service communications under the Frontier brand name. Analysts see third-quarter profit jumping 55% to 17 cents a share. Composite Rating: 87

6. Alaska Comm Systems (ALSK) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 6.4%. Shares of the regional telecom were pressured last week after Merrill Lynch downgraded the firm to neutral from buy. Annual earnings are expected to jump 35% in 2007 to 46 cents a share. Composite Rating: 88

7. AllianceBernstein (AB) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 5.1%. The $6 billion market-cap firm is one of many leaders in IBD’s Finance-Investment Mgmt group. The stock shrugged off a recent downgrade from AG Edwards to hold from buy. Composite Rating: 97

8. Highwoods Properties (HIW) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 4.6%. The real estate investment trust has extensive holdings in Central Florida. Its Technical Rating of 95 (A) from Stock Checkup ranks it 17th in the 219-member Finance-REIT group. Composite Rating: 86

9. PetroChina (PTR) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 4.5%. Like many other oil and gas stocks in recent weeks, professional selling has started to crop up in its chart. Composite Rating: 87

10. DiamondRock Hospitality (DRH) – View IBD Stock Checkup
Yield: 4.3%. The Maryland-based REIT recently agreed to sell 5.75 million shares of common stock to Citigroup Global Markets and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. Composite Rating: 87

These companies are certainly worth some more research and may be great additions to your portfolio!

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