BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Stocks have struggled this year in the wake of the 2009 rally, prompting many investors to turn to defensive names.Cautious investors seeking steady dividends should consider these 10 stocks. They're rated "buy" and their financial strength scores put them among the top 1% of the 5,000 stocks we cover. 10. Raytheon ( RTN - Get Report) is an aerospace and defense contractor, specializing in high-tech systems. Fourth-quarter net income rose 20% to $504 million and earnings per share climbed 27% to $1.30, boosted by a lower share count. Revenue rose 9.5% to $6.7 billion. Raytheon's operating margin widened from 10% to 11%. The stock advanced 19% over the past year.
7. National Health Investors ( NHI - Get Report) is a real estate investment trust that owns nursing homes and assisted-living centers. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 22. Third-quarter net income climbed 9.5% to $17 million, but earnings per share jumped 31% to 63 cents. Revenue increased 32% to $21 million. The operating margin hit 82%. The REIT advanced 43% over the past year.
3. Oracle ( ORCL - Get Report) sells business software and servers. Fiscal second-quarter profit rose 13% to $1.5 billion, or 29 cents. Revenue increased 4.5% to $5.9 billion. Oracle's operating margin widened from 36% to 39%. Its stock gained 42% over the past year.