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10 Dividend-Paying Stocks to Buy Now

These 'buy'-rated stocks are cheap, stable and offer some of the highest payouts in the market.

TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

Investors have been struggling to separate the weak from the strong in the

stock market

for the past year. Instead of looking for the biggest price gains, they should seek out companies paying the

biggest dividends

. Here are 10 options.

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TheStreet Recommends Ratings ranks more than 5,000 stocks based on their finances, prices and performance. Only 11% have "buy" recommendations, including the companies below.

Bargain hunters seeking upside potential and income should consider these small-cap companies before the herd piles in. Each stock has a price-to-earnings ratio that's less than 10, making them extremely cheap. By paying


, they provide an income stream derived from corporate profits, which are more reliable than stock appreciation.

The average price-to-earnings ratio of companies in the S&P 500 Index is about 15. It has been 22, on average, for the past five years. A price-to-earnings ratio indicates how much you would pay for each dollar of a company's earnings at its current share price.

Each stock below boasts a dividend yield, a measure of dividend payments relative to share price, higher than 5%. The average dividend yield of S&P 500 companies is 3.05%.

Some would argue these companies are cheap because investors question their ability to pay dividends and boost share value. This fear is unjustified. These companies have stronger financial positions than 89% of stocks we follow.

Check out each stock's financial-strength score, our gauge of cash position and debt management. On a scale of 1 to 10, these companies are above 5, higher than the 4.4 of the average company we cover. On that basis, it's unlikely that these companies will cut their dividends. In fact, they might boost their payouts.