Story updated with note on Tasty Baking dividend suspension
BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Investors bruised by the stock-market downturn have turned to dividend-paying shares for safety and stability. That usually means the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the beneficiary.
Dividend stocks are attractive during times of uncertainty because of the consistent cash payout, and the fundamental belief that companies with large dividends are more prudent. While share prices can move erratically, as the market has during the violence and unrest in the Middle East, dividends typically hold steady. Since Feb. 18, the S&P 500 has dropped 3% and is now below its 50-day moving average, which is a negative technical indicator. The environmental disaster in Japan, the world's second-largest economy, may also cast a pall on global growth and investing. Some companies, such as Dow members Chevron (CVX), Coca-Cola (KO) and Verizon (VZ), offer steady returns through dividends. But for several stocks trading under $5, the dividend yield -- and risk -- are much higher. For long-term investors, the recent pullback has afforded a lower entry point in several high-yielding dividend stocks that trade for less than $5, including Chimera, Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE) and Primedia (PRM). TheStreet narrowed the vast number of dividend-paying under-$5 stocks to those with the largest annual yield, detailed on the following pages.
China Nepstar Chain Drugstore (NPD) Company Profile: China Nepstar Chain Drugstore operates retail drugstores in the People's Republic of China. Shares are up nearly 10% this year but have fallen more than 40% in the past 12 months. Annual Dividend: 26 cents Dividend Yield: 6.2% (forward annual)