NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What do China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP - Get Report) , Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (EOC) , GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Get Report) and Westpac Banking Corporation (WBK) have in common?

They are foreign, blue-chip stocks paying 4% dividends, far superior to comparable American stocks such as Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) , Edison International (EIX - Get Report) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Get Report) and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) .

Beijing's China Petroleum & Chemical is "Big Oil," the UK's GlaxoSmithKline is "Big Pharma." Westpac Banking is Australia's biggest financial services company. Empresa Nacional de Electricidad operates 178 generation units in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru from its headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

While these companies may not be well known to American investors, the chart below should make each more alluring to anyone looking for income stocks.

The average dividend yield for a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 is just under 1.9%. All of the foreign stocks have higher yields, including within their respective sectors. Paying a dividend makes a stock much more attractive in many different ways to many different investors.

The daily volume for each foreign stock above is a fraction of that for its American counterpart despite comparable market capitalization. What makes this even more glaring is how much higher the dividend yield are for the foreign stocks with the lesser amounts of volume. The lower daily volume evinces a reduced degree of investor interest, which results in pricing inefficiencies.

From that, investors should be able to buy these income stocks at a lower price, which results in a higher dividend yield.

The chart above demonstrates the important feature when buying a stock -- its income component is a critical factor. When a stock has more volume, there is going to be less inefficiency in the way it is priced. Inefficient pricing is what results in profitable returns when the market more fairly values the stock in the future. Combined with the superior dividend yield of many foreign blue-chips, that can result in an impressive long-term total return.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CHINA PETROLEUM & CHEM CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CHINA PETROLEUM & CHEM CORP (SNP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's earnings per share has not been good."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SNP Ratings Report