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8 High-Dividend-Yield Defensive Stocks

1. Covanta Holding owns and operates infrastructure for converting waste to energy as well as other waste disposal and renewable energy production businesses in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

During 2010 fourth quarter, revenue grew to $419 million, up 13.9% year-over-year, while full year revenue increased 14.4% to $1.6 billion. Moreover, the company exceeded its full-year earnings guidance of 55-65 cents per share. Earnings stood at 68 cents per share. Additionally, free cash flow increased 3.5% to $357 million, topping the company guidance of $325-$350 million.

Covanta Holding recently initiated a regular quarterly dividend of 0.075 cents per share, implying an annual dividend of 30 cents per share. Total dividend distribution represents approximately 15% of the estimated 2011 free cash flow, or around $300 million. Furthermore, the company has authorized an additional $50 million in share repurchases, bringing the total authorized amount to $200 million.

The company's total dividend payout for the year was $328 million. Dividend yield stood at 8.7% and dividend per share was $1.5. Of the 12 analysts covering the stock, 58% rate a buy, while 25% affirm a hold. Analysts estimate an average upside of 16.7% to $20.5 in value from current levels. The stock has gained 13.2% in the past one year.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 8 High-Yield Defensive Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

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