HCC Insurance Holdings

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The last name on today's list is -- surprise, surprise -- another insurance company. HCC Insurance Holdings ( HCC) is having a strong showing this year, up more than 10% since the start of January, vs. gains of less than half that for the S&P 500. The firm is a leader in smaller insurance markets where competition is less. That skirts the commoditization woes that most other insurers face, even if it makes underwriting profits a bit less predictable in the short-term. Longer-term, it means that underwriting profits are much bigger than those of firms that focus on broad-line insurance where risks are overly-quantified and opportunities are arbitraged away.

HCC has paid a 15.5 cent dividend for the past three quarters (with a fourth slated for payment on July 16), and the firm looks due for a bigger payout. Currently just over 20% of profits get pushed through to investors -- I'm expecting a hike in the next quarter on HCC's 2% yield.

To see these dividend plays in action, check out the Potential Financial Sector Dividend Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.

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