NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For long term investors, dividend stocks look more attractive than long-term U.S. debt.

The earnings yield of the S&P 500 currently stands at 4.78% (using Robert Shiller's 10-year inflation adjusted earnings). Compare this figure to the 2.04% yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note and the broad stock index offers a hypothetical risk premium of 2.74%.

In absolute terms, these figures are pretty meager. But in a relative sense, a diverse basket of U.S. stocks is likely to offer investors a greater likelihood of capital preservation (and hopefully, appreciation) while generating a comparable amount of income.

Consider these 11 stocks: Each has a higher dividend yield than an S&P 500 index fund, has a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings and will trade ex-dividend tomorrow (this means that you must purchase the stock today to qualify for the next dividend payment).

TheStreet Ratings stock-rating model favors defensive investments with a bias toward conservatively financed companies that have demonstrated a history of favorable shareholder returns.

As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel -- rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

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USA Mobility

USA Mobility ( USMO) is a provider of wireless communications solutions to the health care, government, large enterprise and emergency response sectors.

Dividend Yield: 6.90%

Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: USA Mobility's P/E ratio indicates a significant discount compared to an average of 14.77 for the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and a significant discount compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, its price-to-book ratio of 1.28 indicates a discount versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a significant discount versus the industry average of 6.78. The price-to-sales ratio is similar to the S&P 500 average, but it is significantly below the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, USA Mobility proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Duke Energy

Duke Energy ( DUK) is an energy company, which is focused on electric power and gas distribution operations and other energy services in the Americas.

Dividend Yield: 4.76%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The current P/E ratio indicates a premium compared to an average of 14.41 for the Electric Utilities industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

For additional comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 1.21 indicates a discount versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 1.79. The current price-to-sales ratio is well above the S&P 500 average and above the industry average, indicating a premium. The valuation analysis reveals that, Duke Energy seems to be trading at a premium to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Cinemark Holdings

Cinemark Holdings ( CNK) is a holding company, and together with its subsidiariesis is engaged in the motion picture exhibition industry.

Dividend Yield: 4.22%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Cinemark Holdings' P/E ratio indicates a premium compared to an average of 17.15 for the Media industry and a premium compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 2.20 indicates valuation on par with the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 2.47. The price-to-sales ratio is below the S&P 500 average and is well below the industry average, indicating a discount.

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Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products ( SON) is a manufacturer of industrial and consumer packaging products and a provider of packaging services, in different countries.

Dividend Yield: 3.60%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Sonoco Product's P/E ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 18.50 for the Containers & Packaging industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 2.05 indicates valuation on par with the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 2.28. The current price-to-sales ratio is well below the S&P 500 average and is also below the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, Sonoco Products proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Oil-Dri Corporation of America

Oil-Dri Corporation of America ( ODC) develops, mines, manufactures and markets sorbent products produced from clay minerals and other sorbent materials.

Dividend Yield: 3.31%

Rated "B- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Oil-Dri's P/E ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 17.07 for the Household Products industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 1.49 indicates a discount versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a significant discount versus the industry average of 5.20. The price-to-sales ratio is well below both the S&P 500 average and the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, Oil-Dri proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Chevron

Chevron ( CVX) provides administrative, financial, management and technology support to U.S. and international subsidiaries that engage operations of petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation and energy services.

Dividend Yield: 3.03%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Chevron's P/E ratio indicates a significant discount compared to an average of 18.66 for the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and a discount compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 1.76 indicates valuation on par with the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a significant discount versus the industry average of 6.34. The price-to-sales ratio is below the S&P 500 average and is well below the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, Chevron proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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American Water Works

American Water Works ( AWK) provides water and wastewater services to residential, commercial and industrial customers in the United States and Canada.

Dividend Yield: 2.95%

Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: American Water Works' P/E ratio indicates a premium compared to an average of 15.28 for the Water Utilities industry and a premium compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

Conducting a second comparison, its price-to-book ratio of 1.28 indicates a discount versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a premium versus the industry average of 1.24. The price-to-sales ratio is well above the S&P 500 average, but well below the industry average. After reviewing these and other key valuation criteria, American Water Works proves to trade at a premium to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Linear Technology

Linear Technology ( LLTC) designs, manufactures and markets a broad line of standard high performance linear integrated circuits.

Dividend Yield: 2.96%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's P/E ratio indicates a significant discount compared to an average of 24.53 for the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

For additional comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 13.63 indicates a significant premium versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a significant premium versus the industry average of 3.06. The price-to-sales ratio is well above both the S&P 500 average and the industry average, indicating a premium.

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Honeywell

Honeywell ( HON) is a technology and manufacturing company, which serves customers with aerospace products and services, control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, chemicals.

Dividend Yield: 2.72%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Honeywell's P/E ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 16.89 for the Aerospace & Defense industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

For additional comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 3.58 indicates a significant premium versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 4.02. The current price-to-sales ratio is similar to the S&P 500 average, but it is below the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, Honeywell proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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Snap-on

Snap-on ( SNA) is a global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment, software and service solutions for professional users.

Dividend Yield: 2.46%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: Snap-on's P/E ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 17.13 for the Machinery industry and a discount compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, its price-to-book ratio of 2.06 indicates valuation on par with the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 3.08. The price-to-sales ratio is below both the S&P 500 average and the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, Snap-on proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

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United Technologies

United Technologies ( UTX) provides high technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide.

Dividend Yield: 2.41%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: United Technologies' P/E ratio indicates a discount compared to an average of 16.89 for the Aerospace & Defense industry and a value on par with the S&P 500 average of 15.04.

To use another comparison, the company's price-to-book ratio of 3.15 indicates a premium versus the S&P 500 average of 2.03 and a discount versus the industry average of 4.02. The current price-to-sales ratio is similar to the S&P 500 average, but it is below the industry average, indicating a discount. Upon assessment of these and other key valuation criteria, United Technologies proves to trade at a discount to investment alternatives within the industry.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings staff. To get more stories like this one, sign-up for TheStreet's free Dividend & Income newsletter. Also, don't miss our Dividend Stars Portfolio, which yields 2.77%, or our Monthly Dividend Portfolio, which yields 2.71%.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 11 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks to Buy Today portfolio on Stockpickr.

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