A solid dividend is enough to make almost any stock at least appealing. Return on investment that's independent of fluctuations in share price can help to ease an investor through trying times while buoying gains during the good. And, of course, the bigger the dividend yield the better, right?
Well, while the bigger the yield the better the chance that the company offering it may have to alter its policy at some point, it's still wonderful to dream. So, without further ado, here are the five biggest dividend yields for publicly traded companies.
1. Alaska Communications Systems Group (ALSK)
Telecom has long been a haven for dividend stocks, and Alaska Communications in the industry leader in this regard. Alaska Communications, which is a telecom company providing land-line and wireless service to Alaska, was incorporated in 1998. While investing in phone services in Alaska might not immediately excite you, the dividend that Alaska has offered since December of 2004 should definitely have investors salivating. The dividend has been over $0.20 per share since 2005, good for a yield of 19.28 percent. This sort of massive return on investment should make the stock more than appealing. However, share in Alaska went into steep decline in November after statements in an earning call that the board would be reconsidering the company's dividend policy.
2. Arlington Asset Investment Corp. (AI)
Arlington Asset is a company that acquires residential mortgage backed securities on a leveraged basis, either from a U.S. Government agency, or guaranteed as to principal and interest by U.S. Government agencies or U.S. Government-sponsored entities. Everything about that above sentence should make anyone who wasn't living under a rock for the last three years run screaming for the hills, and you'd be right to. The company was riding high in March of 2004 when shares peaked at over $560 apiece, only to begin a steep decline (based on what we may never know) that took it all the way down to $2.80 a share around Christmas of 2008. Oof. However, Arlington's made a steady recovery ever since, gaining almost 680 percent to reach today's share price that's approaching $22. More importantly, Arlington offers a dividend yield of 15.67 percent that should keep investors happy. Well, those investors who got in after 2008, that is.
3. Frontier Communications Corp (FTR)
Our fourth entry returns us to the telecom sector with Frontier Communications, which was first incorporated in 1935, is a much larger company than the previous three with a market cap approaching $5 billion. Frontier's services are largely focused on rural areas and small to medium sized towns and cities. It hasn't been a good year for Frontier, which has lost over half its share value since January, but Frontier offers its shareholders a yield of 15.43 percent to keep them feeling warm this winter holiday.
4. Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA)
Niska Gas Storage is in the business of...gas storage. The company owns and operates storage facilities for natural gas, selling storage services to a variety of different customers including financial institutions, marketers, pipelines, power generators, utilities and producers of natural gas.With properties in California, Oklahoma, and Canada, Niska has positioned itself well in the market. While it might seem odd that there's all that much money in the market of simply storing natural gas, the company has reached nearly $650 million in market cap and shareholders enjoy a dividend yield of 14.99 percent.
5. Knightsbridge Tankers Limited (VLCCF)
Knightsbridge Tankers Limited is a shipping company that works in international seaborne transportation of crude oil and dry bulk cargoes. The company was incorporated in Bermuda in 1996 and has offered its dividend for its entire existence. The company has had a rough year (join the club), losing over 35 percent of its share value, but the company's 13.86 percent dividend still makes the company an appealing investment to any dividend hound looking for a score.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed The McClatchy Company (MNI) among this group.
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