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With a dividend yield that weighs in at 5.5%, telco giant
AT&T(T - Get Report) is the highest-yielding Dow name by a long shot. And outperformance has been the result: In the last year, AT&T has beaten its home index by around 7% when dividends are factored in. That performance looks primed to continue in 2012.
AT&T owns the largest cellular carrier business in the country, a fact that's often lost on investors. While top rival
Verizon(VZ) has more subscribers, the firm only owns 55% of its cellular cash cow, versus AT&T's 100% ownership of AT&T Mobility. Early adoption of the iPhone left AT&T with a massive chunk of higher-return smartphone customers, which, when coupled with the firm's legacy landline business, throws off serious cash flows.
That should help guarantee that AT&T's payouts keep flowing in the future.
AT&T shows up on a recent list of
10 Dividend Stocks Still Paying Outsized Yields.