BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Companies that pay among the highest dividends and post the fastest earnings growth are the best place to hunker down.

Before selling equities and going to cash or Treasury bonds, consider staying in the market but remaining risk-averse with relatively safe dividend stocks. Still, that might be easier said than done, given the S&P 500's 5.6% decline in the past five trading days.

But that's a strategy touted by many investment strategists, including Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Parker. "The right strategy to outperform in this environment is to focus on companies with sustainable dividends," which he refers to as "the 'best house on a bad block' logic."

With the 10-year Treasury yield around 2% yield, companies that can increase earnings per share over the next decade and pay consistently higher dividends are "likely prudent investments," he says.

Dividends have provided 42% of the S&P 500's total return over the past century, "so you do not want to ignore them," Parker says. Instead of picking stable blue-chip companies such as 3M or Procter & Gamble, Morgan Stanley recommends fast-growing companies.

"The market has been rewarding companies that are beating on revenue more than those beating on earnings, and we think the scarcity premium on revenue growth will increase in a low-growth economy," he said in the report the report.

With that view in mind, what follows are 10 stocks with better than 3% dividend yields that rank among the best in terms of three- to five-year earnings per share growth prospects (per Standard & Poor's), and have attractive current price-to-earnings ratios, culled from a screen on Fidelity's Web site.

Seagate Technology ( STX), a maker of computer hard drives, has shares that carry a 4.46% projected dividend yield, and the company has a long-term projected earnings growth rate of 18.4%. It has a market value of $7 billion and its shares are on fire, rising 62% in the past three months and up 11% this year.

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Nucor ( NUE) is the largest U.S. steel manufacturer by production and boasts among the most modern and efficient mills. Shares of this $12 billion market value firm are up 20% in the past three months and 2.4% on the year and carry a projected yield of 3.87%. Nucor has a long-term projected earnings per share growth rate of 39%.


Kronos Worldwide's ( KRO) shares carry a yield of 3.09%, and the company has a market value of $2 billion. The shares are down 4% this year but over three years, they have appreciated at a rate of 70% per year. Kronos is a chemical company that primarily makes titanium dioxide found in paint and plastics and used in paper manufacturing. It has a long-term projected annual earnings growth rate of 20.5%.

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Eagle Rock Energy Partners ( EROC), a unit trust fund, carries an 8.2% projected yield. Its stock has grown 19% this year and an average of 21% over three years. The company is a partnership that invests in oil and natural gas pipelines as well as in oil and gas wells. Eagle Rock Energy Partners has a projected long-term earnings growth rate outlook of 20%.


Steel Dynamics ( STLD), a manufacturer of cheap types of steel by using scrap metal, has shares that carry a projected dividend yield of 3.3%. The company has a long-term earnings outlook of 21% annually. This $3 billion market value company has seen its shares melt 32% this year, but over three years they have gained an average of 30% annually. Steel Dynamics has a long-term projected earnings growth rate of 21%.

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Olin Corp. ( OLN), with a 4.27% projected dividend yield, is a manufacturer of chlorine and caustic soda, among other chemicals. With a $1.5 billion market value, its shares have fallen 4.8% this year, but have an annual average gain of 14.5% over three years. Its earnings growth rate is projected be 17.5% annually, long term.


CTC Media ( CTCM) carries a 9.45% projected yield, and a long-term earnings growth rate projection of 33%. Its shares have lost 58% this year, but over three years have an average annual gain of 49%. The company is one of the leading satellite-TV broadcasters in Russia, with 350 affiliate stations and about 100 million viewers.

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Southern Copper's ( SCCO) shares carry an 8.49% projected dividend yield and the company has a projected annual growth rate of 15% on earnings. It is a pure commodities play, as one of the world's largest copper producers. Southern Copper's shares are down 36% this year, but over three years have an average annual gain of 46%.


Shares of ArcelorMittal ( MT), the world's largest steel producer, carry a 4.5% projected dividend yield, and the company has a projected annual earnings growth rate of 22%. ArcelorMittal's stock is down 52% this year, but over 10 years has an average annual return of 30%.

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Westway Group ( WWAY) is a provider of bulk liquid storage services and a manufacturer and distributor of liquid animal feed supplements. Its shares are up 14.5% this year, but have lost an average of 8.5% annually over three years. But the small-cap $114 million company's shares have a 3.77% projected yield, and Westway has a long-term, projected annual earnings growth rate of 10%.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Dividend Stocks to Keep You Safe Into 2012 portfolio on Stockpickr.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.