NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following companies from such sectors as pharma, insurance, lease and finance have high-yield dividend payouts of 1% to 4% and potential upside of 8% to 31% over the next 12 months. These companies are avoiding a November freeze by increasing the cash dividend paid to their shareholders. On average, these stocks have 68% buy rating and 30% hold rating.

Despite global economic uncertainty, a few of these companies are able to maintain their robust business models and have raised their dividend payout for the upcoming quarter. Investors can cash in on this combination of high dividends and estimated potential upside from current value.

The stocks are arranged in ascending order of dividend yield.
8. DDR ( DDR) is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in owning, managing and developing a portfolio of shopping centers and, to a lesser extent, office properties. Broadly, it operates in three segments: shopping centers, Brazil equity investment, and other investments. DDR owns and manages 546 shopping centers in 41 states.

Mid-November, DDR upped its quarterly dividend by 33% from the third quarter of 2011 to a new rate of 8 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2011.The increased dividend is payable Jan. 6, 2012 to shareholders of record Dec. 16. Currently, DDR has a dividend yield of 1.4% and the new payout features a yield of 2.6%.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the company registered 1.8% increase in total revenue to $196.5 million. The REIT said funds from operations amounted to $67.4 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, excluding certain adjustments. For the quarter, DDR executed 516 new leases and renewals for over 2.5 million square feet. In addition, same-store net operating income growth stood at 3.7%, vs. 2% in the prior year third quarter.

For full year 2011, the company estimates its funds from operations in the 95 cents to $1 per diluted share range. Also, at a recent Annual Convention For All Things REIT, the company's chief executive said that an active 2011 with several acquisitions, it plans to continue the momentum in 2012. The company has no major consolidation plans, but will partner premier retailers to fill its properties.

Of the 16 analysts covering the stock, 44% recommend a buy and 50% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 28.3% to $14.45 in the upcoming 12 months.

7. Barrett Business Services ( BBSI) offers a range of human resource management services to assist small- and medium-sized businesses to manage the costs and complexities of employment-related issues.

Mid-November, the company declared a third-quarter dividend of 11 cents per share, up 22.2% from the prior dividend of 9 cents paid in the second quarter. The dividend is payable on Dec. 9 to shareholders of record on Nov. 25. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 1.9%. However, the new payout will feature a dividend yield of 2.5%.

For the third quarter of 2011, the company's net revenue increased 16% to $85.4 million from the year-ago quarter, while net income grew 48% to $5.4 million, or 54 cents per diluted share. Gross revenue for the quarter increased 22% to $406 million, led by an improving net Professional Employer Organization (PEO) client count and growing same-store sales. Also, cash and cash equivalents for the quarter increased to $77.9 million from $61.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2010.

For the fourth quarter, the company estimates gross revenue in the $405 million to $410 million range, compared to $344.2 million in the same quarter of 2010. Also, diluted earnings per share are estimated between 45 cents to 49 cents, increasing from 30 cents in the year-ago quarter.

All the three analysts covering the stock recommend a buy on it. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 10.6% to $20.50 in the upcoming 12 months.

6. Prudential Financial ( PRU) offers various financial products and services in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America. The company's products include life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management and real estate services.

Mid-November, Prudential increased its annual dividend 26% to $1.45 per share as compared to $1.15 per share dividend paid in 2010. The dividend is payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record Nov. 22. Currently, PRU has a dividend yield of 2.3% and the new payout features a yield of 2.8%.

For the third quarter of 2011, net income of Financial Services businesses attributable to the company was $1.5 billion, or $3.06 per common share, compared to $1.2 billion, or $2.46 per common share, in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue increased to $9.95 billion from $7.82 billion in the third quarter of 2010. Total assets under management increased 16% year-over-year to $871 billion as of Sept. 30.

Recently, Fitch Ratings assigned a BBB+ rating to PRU's issuance of senior notes totaling $725 million with a stable outlook. Fitch expects proceeds from the debt issuance will be used to pre-fund $715 million of debt maturing in 2012 and January 2013 and does not see the issuance increasing leverage.

Of the 23 analysts covering the stock, 78% recommend a buy and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 34.8% to $68.07 in the upcoming 12 months.

5. Snap-on ( SNA) is a manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users. The company operates in four business groups: commercial and industrial, Snap-on Tools, diagnostics and information and financial services.

In early November, the company raised its quarterly dividend 6.3% to 34 cents per share from 32 cents paid in the prior quarter. The dividend is payable Dec. 9 to shareholders of record Nov. 18. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 2.4% and the latest payout features dividend yield of 2.5%.

For 2011 third quarter, the company recorded sales of $697.2 million, an increase of 6.8% from the third quarter 2010 levels. Net earnings for the quarter increased to $67.8 million, or $1.16 per share, from $46.5 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter last year. Looking ahead, the company anticipates incurring capital expenditure of approximately $65 million in 2011, with $46.6 million spent in the first nine months of the year.

Earnings for 2011 are estimated to grow 34%, vs. 30% increase forecast for the tools and accessories industry, as per industry reports. Meanwhile, the company expects majority increase from the developing markets wherein the motor services industry is witnessing expansive growth. Almost 40% of SNA revenue in 2010 originated from markets outside the U.S.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, 75% recommend a buy and the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 28.6% to $67.83 in the upcoming 12 months.

4. Automatic Data Processing ( ADP) provides business outsourcing solutions offering human resource (HR), payroll, and tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source. Besides, it also provides integrated computing solutions to automotive, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle and heavy machinery dealers worldwide.

In early November, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 10% to 39.5 cents per share from 36 cents per share paid in the earlier quarter. The dividend is payable Jan. 1, 2012 to shareholders of record Dec. 9, 2011. The annual dividend payout stands at $1.58 per share after the increase. With a current dividend yield of 2.9%, the new dividend payout features a yield of 3%.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, revenue increased 13% to $2.5 billion, delivering year-over-year organic growth of 10%. Net earnings for the quarter increased to $302.7 million, or 61 cents per share, from $278.5 million, or 56 cents per share, from the year-ago quarter.

For fiscal 2012, the company expects revenue growth to be in the range of 7% to 9% and earnings per share of 8% to 10%. The company reported fiscal 2011 revenue of $9.9 billion and earnings per share of $2.52.

Of the 24 analysts covering the stock, 42% recommend a buy and 50% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 9.7% to $54.89 in the upcoming 12 months.

3. Aircastle ( AYR) engages in acquiring, leasing, and selling high-utility commercial jet aircraft to passenger and cargo airlines throughout the world. With offices in the U.S., Ireland and Singapore, the company also invests in other aviation assets, including debt investments secured by commercial jet aircraft.

In early November, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 15 cents per share from 12.5 cents per share in the previous payout. The dividend is payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record Nov. 30. This increases annual payment by 60 cents per share compared to 50 cents in 2010. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 3.9%. However, the new dividend payout increases yield to 4.9%.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 was reported at $22.7 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, compared to $8.6 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue grew to $141.5 million from $132.2 million in the same quarter prior year. For the quarter, fleet utilization stood at 99% and aircraft portfolio yield stood at 14%.

Of the 10 analysts covering the stock, 80% recommend a buy and the rest suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 28.9% to $14.77 in the upcoming 12 months.

2. Textainer Group Holdings ( TGH), a holding company, engages in the purchase, ownership, management, leasing and disposal of a fleet of intermodal containers. The company leases containers to more than 400 shipping lines and other lessees.

In early November, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 6.1% to 35 cents per share from 33 cents per share in the previous dividend payout. The dividend is payable Nov. 28 to shareholders of record Nov. 14. Currently, TGH has a dividend yield of 4.2%. The yield based on the new payout is 5.1%.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 rose to $45.8 million, or 92 cents per share, from $30.7 million, or 62 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter amounted to $109.5 million from $75.6 million in the same quarter last year. Fleet utilization increased to 98.6% during the quarter from 98% in the third quarter 2010. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $73.3 million at the end of Sept. 2011.

Going forward, the company anticipates strong demand for refrigerated containers and has already ordered 16,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) of new refrigerated containers for delivery through Dec. 2011, the highest in its history. Also, it foresees higher in-fleet utilization through the remainder of 2011.

Of the nine analysts covering the stock, five recommend a buy and the rest suggest a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 21.4% to $34.43 in the upcoming 12 months.

1. Merck & Company ( MRK) provides healthcare solutions worldwide. The company operates in four segments: pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer care and alliances. It sells products to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies and managed-healthcare providers.

Mid-November, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 10.5% to 42 cents per share from 38 cents in the previous dividend payout. The dividend is payable Jan.9, 2012 to shareholders of record Dec. 15 with an ex-dividend date of Dec. 13, 2011. Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 4.4%. The yield based on the new payout is 4.8%.

For the third quarter of 2011, the company recorded sales of $12.02 billion from $11.12 billion in the year-ago quarter. GAAP net income increased multi-fold to $1.69 billion, or 55 cents per share, from $342 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The company has raised the lower end of its 2011 non-GAAP earnings per share and anticipates it in the $3.72 to $3.76 range. GAAP range is $2.03 to $2.20. Full-year revenue is seen growing in the mid-single digit percent range from $46 billion in 2010. Recently, Merck announced plans to invest almost $1 billion in Singapore to expand its biotech operations and add technology capability to support new product launches.

Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 68% recommend a buy and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 12.2% to $39.08 in the upcoming 12 months.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 8 Stocks With Raised Dividends, Upside portfolio on Stockpickr.

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