Dividend investing is popular again. Investors have taken to heart Jeremy Siegel's studies, which show that higher-yielding stocks tend to offer greater returns over time than low- or no-yield stocks.
The highest dividend yields can be very tantalizing. As long as a stock yielding 15% doesn't lose value, you'll make 15% in one year! In more cases than not, however, an astronomical yield is a bad sign for a stock. Since dividend yields and stock prices move in opposite directions, a high yield usually means that investors have begun to worry about the business, and driven down its stock price.
Dividends are not guaranteed; you need to make sure that a business is generating enough cash to pay its dividend, or your investment could be disastrous.
A few months ago, I ran a screen for the highest-yielding telecom stocks, and it got such a good reception that I'm doing it again this quarter. The only limitations I set are I'm only considering telecoms and they must have a market cap greater than $1 billion.
Here are the top 25 highest-yielding telecoms the screen produced:
Market Cap (in millions)
Cellcom Israel (NYS: CEL)
France Telecom (NYS: FTE)
Telefonica (NYS: TEF)
Portugal Telecom (NYS: PT)
Frontier Communications (NYS: FTR)
Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo S.A. (NYS: VIV)
CenturyLink (NYS: CTL)
Turkcell (NYS: TKC)
Windstream (NAS: WIN)
Telecom Corp. of New Zealand (NYS: NZT)
Telecom Italia SpA (NYS: TI)
Brasil Telecom S.A. (NYS: BTM)
KT (NYS: KT)
Philippine Long Distance Telephone (NYS: PHI)
AT&T (NYS: T)
SK Telecom (NYS: SKM)
Vodafone Group (NYS: VOD)
Verizon Communications (NYS: VZ)
Chunghwa Telecom (NYS: CHT)
BCE (NYS: BCE)
Telefonos de Mexico (NYS: TMX)
Telecom Argentina (NYS: TEO)
BT Group (NYS: BT)
TELUS (NYS: TU)
China Mobile (NYS: CHL)
Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
These stocks are a good place to start your research, but they're not formal recommendations. Remember, their seemingly irresistible yields could be ticking time bombs, so do your own due diligence. Also, make sure you diversify your picks across various sectors. As investors relearn every decade or so, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket -- no matter how tempting the dividends are.
At the time thisarticle was published Dan Dzombak'smusings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak. He owns shares of Frontier Communications, France Telecom, and Vodafone Group.The Motley Fool owns shares of Telefonica.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of USA Mobility, France Telecom, Vodafone Group, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Partner Communications, AT&T, Cellcom Israel, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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