6. CenturyLink ( CTL) is an integrated telecommunications company, formed through the merger of CenturyTel and Embarq. The company is currently attempting to merge with Qwest ( Q). It is scheduled to release third-quarter results Nov. 3. Second-quarter net income more than tripled to $239 million, but earnings per share climbed a more modest 16% to 79 cents due to a larger float. CenturyLink pays a quarterly dividend of 73 cents, equaling an annual yield of 7.1%, with a payout ratio near 100%. It has rallied 12% in 2010 and 24% in 12 months.