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20 Dividend Stocks With Yields Up to 18%

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Investors worried about a double-dip recession have flooded into safe-haven fixed-income securities this year. Still, the most attractive yields are in equities. Here are five stocks, representing different industries, that pay dividends significantly higher than the coupons offered by the 30-year Treasury bond. They are ordered by dividend yield, from high to highest. Each description is followed by three similar securities with fat dividends.

5. Pepco Holdings (POM) sells electricity.

Quarter: Pepco swung to a second-quarter loss of $54 million, but a per share profit of $34 cents, from net income of $25 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. The operating margin extended to 12% from 8.6%. Pepco holds $43 million of cash and $6.1 billion of debt, equaling a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.4.

Stock: Pepco has advanced 24% in the past 12 months. It trades at a forward earnings multiple of 14, a 10% premium to the industry average. Its cash flow multiple of 3.5 and book value multiple of 0.9 signify 36% and 42% discounts to peer averages. The stock pays a 6.2% yield with a payout ratio of 89%.

Consensus: Of analysts covering Pepco, four, or 40%, advise buying its shares and six recommend holding them. None say to sell. A median target of $17.58 suggests that the stock is just below fair value. SunTrust (STI) offers a target of $18, implying a 3% gain. Wunderlich Securities predicts a drop to $17.

Other high-yield utility stocks:

UIL Holdings (UIL), dividend yield: 6.4%

Unitil (UTL), dividend yield: 6.5%

Empire District Electric (EDE), dividend yield: 6.5%
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