By Lisa Springer
NEW YORK (
) -- If you're an income investor who has ever wanted to lock in a high yield, then know this: Sometimes you've got to reach for it.
Not every high yielder is going to be a world-dominating company with a pristine balance sheet.
In fact, few of them are.
That said, a great place to look for reliable high yields is among stocks that are currently out of favor.
The market often discards stocks and prices them accordingly when industries mature and cease growing. Yet, in most of these cases the mature industry is worth billions of dollars and in no danger of disappearing anytime soon.
These companies usually generate steady profits and can easily afford generous dividend payments, offering a compelling opportunity for income investors.
I created a list of out-of-favor stocks by screening for big price declines and then selecting profitable companies that have large amounts of cash, generating free cash flow that exceeds the dividend.
Here are the three best stocks that met my criteria. They may be unloved by Wall Street, but should find plenty of admirers among income investors.
RR Donnelley is North America's largest commercial printer, with sales approaching $11 billion a year. Commercial printers are out of favor with investors because of the rise of desktop publishing and e-books.
Donnelly is countering weakening demand for printed materials with various digital initiatives. The company recently acquired EDGAR Online, a provider of financial data and analytics to professional investors. In addition, Donnelley is entering new higher-growth areas such as digital-book distribution for e-readers.
Donnelley's earnings per share (EPS) improved 33% to 44 cents in the first quarter of 2012 from 33 cents a year earlier. The company's mid-point for full-year 2012 earnings guidance is $1.88, up 3% from $1.82 one year ago.
Recent customers include
. Though they bode well for future earnings, Donnelley shares have fallen nearly 44% in the past 12 months.