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10 Highest-Rated Dow Dividend Stocks

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Before you load up on bonds to prepare your portfolio for a double-dip recession, consider adding some Dow stocks, which are among the cheapest, safest and highest-yielding U.S. equities. Here are the 10 highest-rated Dow stocks, based on analysts' recommendations. They are ordered by percentage of "buy" ratings.

10. Merck (MRK - Get Report) is a global drugmaker. Its second-quarter net income fell 52% to $752 million and earnings per share tumbled 68% to 24 cents, hurt by a larger float. Revenue soared 92%. The operating margin widened from 28% to 31%.

Merck's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 9.2 and a book value multiple of 2, 28% and 59% discounts to pharmaceutical industry averages. The shares pay a dividend yield of 4.3% with a safe payout ratio of 35%. Of analysts covering Merck, 18, or 69%, advise purchasing its shares and eight recommend holding them. None advocate selling. A median target of $39.73 suggests the shares could rise 13%.
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BAC $15.58 -1.08%
CVX $89.57 -0.38%
HPQ $29.30 0.41%
MRK $50.95 -0.14%
WMT $66.69 -0.28%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,084.49 +33.74 0.20%
S&P 500 2,013.43 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,830.47 +19.6820 0.41%

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