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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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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BAC $16.73 0.00%
CVX $105.49 0.00%
HPQ $33.83 0.00%
MRK $60.10 0.00%
WMT $76.11 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,285.74 +0.34 0.00%
S&P 500 2,130.82 +4.97 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,090.7940 +19.0510 0.38%

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