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Coal Miners Sport High Dividend Yields

The top-three dividend yield stocks are Natural Resource, Penn Virginia, and Alliance Resource.

Natural Resource Partners (NRP) - Get Natural Resource Partners L.P. Report, Penn Virginia Resource Partners (PVR) , Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) - Get Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. Report, Nucor (NUE) - Get Nucor Corporation Report and Worthington Industries (WOR) - Get Worthington Industries, Inc. Report are the top-five dividend-yielding metal and mining stocks with yields of 8.24%, 8.02%, 7.18%, 3.09% and 2.53%, respectively.

The top-three dividend-yield stocks, Natural Resource, Penn Virginia, and Alliance Resource, maintained their dividend per share values even during the recession. In contrast, steel producers, Nucor and Worthington, slashed their dividends in 2009.

Consequent to the stable income through dividends, the top-three dividend-yield stocks (with market caps of $700 million to $1.7 billion ) have low beta values in the range of 1.16 - 1.52, in comparison to the 1.47 of the coal giant

Peabody

(BTU) - Get Peabody Energy Corporation Report

, which has a market cap of $11.7 billion. Similarly, Nucor's 1.22 and Worthington's 1.35 are lower than the 1.60 beta value of

U.S. Steel

(X) - Get United States Steel Corporation Report

.

Natural Resource Partners

Natural Resource owns and manages coal properties in Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western United States. The company leases coal reserves to mine operators under a long-term lease agreement in exchange for royalty payments, stable cash flows that allow the company to maintain higher dividend yields.

The company's properties account for 20% to 25% of all metallurgical coal produced in the U.S. During January and February, U.S. metallurgical coal exports zoomed by around 70% from a year earlier. Additionally, the met-coal markets are on an upturn with higher contractual prices, contrasted with the prior year. If these strong market conditions sustain, the earnings and dividends of Natural Resource will likely increase.

The company's dividend remained constant at 54 cents a share since the first quarter of 2009, after reaching 55 cents in the third quarter of 2008 from 40 cents in the first quarter of 2008.

Adjusted beta of the stock against the

S&P 500

is only 1.16, the lowest among the top-five dividend-paying stocks. Currently, the stock has three buy, three hold and one sell ratings, according to

TheStreet's

Analyst ratings guide.

Penn Virginia Resource Partners

The company manages coal and natural resource properties, and a natural gas processing unit in the U.S. Similar to Natural Resource, the company is able to maintain high dividend yields by executing long-term lease agreements with third-party mine operators, and receives royalty payments.

Penn Virginia anticipates benefiting from the increase in processed volumes for natural gas liquids during 2010 as producers' drilling is expected to increase given the escalation in natural gas prices relative to 2009 levels.

The company maintained a dividend of 47 cents a share for the first quarter of 2010. Looking ahead, it is confident of a further increase in dividends.

In March, Penn Virginia announced an agreement with

Range Resources

(RRC) - Get Range Resources Corporation Report

to build a gathering system for natural gas from Range Resources' Marcellus operations. Analysts expect this deal to initiate potential contracts with producers such as

EOG Resources

(EOG) - Get EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) Report

and

Cabot Oil & Gas

(COG) - Get Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation Report

that could emerge a major revenue source in the upcoming years.

High-Yielding Stock Ideas

Top 10 Dow Dividend Stocks

The stock has two buy, five hold and no sell ratings, as per

TheStreet's

Analyst ratings guide.

Alliance Resource Partners

The company operates facilities in Kentucky, Illinois and Maryland, producing and marketing coal to U.S. utility companies and industrial users.

Commenting on the record operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2010, Joseph Craft, president and CEO of the company, said, "The domestic steam coal markets, in particular, continue to be hampered by low natural gas prices, above normal utility stockpiles and transportation constraints, which we expect will likely slow improvement in customer demand over the short-term.

On a positive note, growth in international demand for U.S. metallurgical and PCI coal has significantly strengthened the export markets and ARLP has successfully capitalized on this strength by recently securing commitments to deliver one million tons of metallurgical coal into the export market over the fiscal year beginning April 2010," he added.

Considering the strong first-quarter performance and the outlook, the company upgraded its coal production, sales volumes, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and net income guidance for 2010.

In addition, the company increased the cash distribution for the 2010 quarter to 79 cents a unit (an annualized rate of $3.16 a unit), payable on May 14. The announced distribution represents an 8.2% increase over the cash distribution of 73 cents for the 2009 quarter, and a 1.9% increase over the distribution of 77.5 cents for the fourth quarter of 2009. Meanwhile,

Alliance Holdings

, the parent company (with dividend yield of 5.38%) of Alliance Resource, increased cash distributions to 46.5 cents a unit on May 20 from 41.5 cents a unit.

At $48.05, the stock trades at an attractive price-to-earnings ratio of 13.54, ahead of Peabody's 19.47 and

Consol Energy's

(CNX) - Get CNX Resources Corporation Report

25.98. Among the major coal producers, only

TheStreet Recommends

James River Coal

(JRCC)

,

Cloud Peak Energy

(CLD) - Get Cloud Peak Energy Inc. Report

, and

L&L Energy

(LLEN)

have lower price-to-earnings ratios in comparison to Alliance Resource.

The stock has two buy, seven hold and no sell ratings, according to

TheStreet's

Analyst ratings guide.

Nucor

Nucor's dividend yield of 3.09% tops the list of major U.S. steelmakers, in comparison with

AK Steel's

(AKS) - Get AK Steel Holding Corporation Report

0.87% and U.S. Steel's 0.32%.

Nucor,

a stock we picked for the earnings season

, finished the first quarter exceeding analysts' expectations, riding on the strong performance witnessed in raw material, steel mills and cold finished businesses. The company has been undertaking growth initiatives through deals such as Numit and

Ocala Recycling LLC

, which will likely boost earnings in the upcoming years.

Unlike the top-three dividend-paying companies, Nucor's quarterly dividend per share declined to 35 cents in the fourth quarter of 2008 from 52 cents in the earlier quarters of the same year. Currently, the quarterly dividend stands at 36 cents.

The stock has four buy, seven hold and one sell ratings, according to

TheStreet's

Analyst ratings guide.

Worthington Industries

During the third quarter, sales volumes grew 49% over the prior year quarter, and 3% vs. the previous quarter, reinforced by sales to the automotive, agriculture, and construction markets, and the February contribution from the Gibraltar strip steel acquisition.

Commenting on the first-quarter results, Chairman and CEO John P. McConnell said, "Steel processing has been rapidly and successfully integrating the Gibraltar strip steel acquisition, which strengthens our cold-rolled strip strategy and is already contributing to earnings. January was steel's strongest shipping month since October of 2008. We believe we will see further improvements in the profitability of our steel processing business where demand is picking up and steel prices are on the rise."

The year-to-date gain was 23.1%, in comparison with

Mechel's

(MTL) - Get Mechel PAO Sponsored ADR Report

30.5%,

Schnitzer's

(SCHN) - Get Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Class A Report

16% and

Ternium's

(TX) - Get Ternium S.A. Sponsored ADR Report

7.8% gains. In contrast, other major steel majors

ArcelorMittal

(MT) - Get ArcelorMittal SA ADR Report

,

Posco

(PKX) - Get POSCO Sponsored ADR Report

, and AK Steel declined by 21.9%, 22.4% and 21.2%, respectively.

Quarterly dividend for fiscal 2010 declined to 10 cents a share, in comparison to 17 cents a share during fiscal 2009.

The stock has one buy, five hold and no sell ratings, according to

TheStreet's

Analyst ratings guide.