Looking for dividend ideas? You may want to try sourcing the crowd.

Openfolio, a New York-based social investing company that allows individuals to link and compare their portfolios, surveyed the holdings of 15,000 users to identify which dividend stocks investors have been buying lately. They looked specifically at dividend investing trends in the third quarter -- an especially tumultuous time.

The third quarter marked the worst three-month period for stocks since the third quarter of 2011, with the S&P 500 falling 7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 7.6%, marking its third straight quarter of losses. Declining oil prices and signs of a China slowdown spurred investor unease, and a major market correction in August left many wondering whether the market rally that has been in place since 2009 could finally be coming to an end (though October's stellar market run likely calmed many fears).

When the market gets choppy, many investors go running -- to dividends, that is.

Here are six high dividend stocks gaining popularity among investors in the third quarter of the year.

Energy Transfer Partners

ETP Chart ETP data by YCharts

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) saw a notable uptick in popularity in the third quarter, with a 25% jump in interest from investors surveyed by Openfolio. The company, a master limited partnership active in natural gas and propane, has a 9.5% dividend yield. It is set to make its next dividend distribution of $1.055 on Nov. 16.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer recently discussed ETP and its dividend in a lightning round of stock commentary. "All I can tell you is that they just boosted the dividend the other day. So you may think it may not be safe, but they did just boost it. And so it's hard to imagine them boosting it and then cutting it," he said.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Energy Transfer Partners as a hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

We rate Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) 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. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • Along with the very weak revenue results, ETP underperformed when compared to the industry average of 37.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 55.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, Energy Transfer Partners' return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 32.81%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 77.27% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, ETP is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ETP


Potash

POT Chart POT data by YCharts

Fertilizer company Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (POT) saw an 11.4% boost popularity among investors, even though its performance wasn't stellar, with its price falling 15.1% during the third quarter. It has a 7.2% dividend yield and made its latest payout of 38 cents per share on Nov. 3.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan as a hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that POT's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.60, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Chemicals industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • 39.11% is the gross profit margin for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan which we consider to be strong. Regardless of POT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, POT's net profit margin of 18.44% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan's earnings per share declined by 10.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan reported lower earnings of $1.83 versus $2.03 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.9% in earnings ($1.74 versus $1.83).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $358.00 million or 37.63% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: POT


Spectra Energy

SE Chart SE data by YCharts

Spectra Energy (SE - Get Report) got a 7.8% boost in popularity during the third quarter. Apparently investors are a fan of its 5.1% dividend yield and 37 cents-per-share payout, the next of which is set for Dec. 8.

Spectra is set to report earnings on Nov. 4. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates Spectra Energy as a hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Spectra Energy (SE) 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 good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $690.00 million or 31.93% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, Spectra Energy has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.63%.
  • The gross profit margin for Spectra Energy is rather high; currently it is at 51.17%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.51% trails the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, SE has outperformed against the industry average of 33.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.81 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.37, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, Spectra Energy's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SE


AT&T

T Chart T data by YCharts

More investors bought into AT&T (T - Get Report) during the third quarter, with the stock getting a 6.9% bump in popularity among Openfolio users. The telecom company, which has a 5.6% dividend yield and made its last 47-cent payout on Nov. 2, is a dividend aristocrat and a long-time income favorite. It completed the acquisition of DirecTV in a $49 billion deal July.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AT&T as a buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate AT&T (T) a buy. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $10,797.00 million or 23.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.80%.
  • The gross profit margin for AT&T is rather high; currently it is at 54.48%. Regardless of T's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.65% trails the industry average.
  • AT&T's earnings per share declined by 13.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AT&T reported lower earnings of $1.19 versus $3.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.70 versus $1.19).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average. The net income has decreased by 0.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $3,002.00 million to $2,994.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: T


GlaxoSmithKline

GSK Chart GSK data by YCharts

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Get Report) gained in esteem among investors, with a 5.7% jump in ownership in the third quarter. It has a 5.5% dividend yield and will make its next distribution of 58 cents per share in January 2016.

TheStreet Ratings team rates GlaxoSmithKline as a buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a buy. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • GSK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, GlaxoSmithKline's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GlaxoSmithKline is rather high; currently it is at 68.33%. Regardless of GSK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.23% trails the industry average.
  • GlaxoSmithKline's earnings per share declined by 20.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GlaxoSmithKline reported lower earnings of $1.77 versus $3.68 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($78.26 versus $1.77).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Pharmaceuticals industry average. The net income has decreased by 17.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $1,147.39 million to $943.74 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GSK


Blackstone Group

BX Chart BX data by YCharts


Blackstone Group (BX - Get Report) , like GlaxoSmithKline, got a 5.7% boost in popularity among investors. Its stock fell 19.8% during the period, but that apparently didn't deter stockholders. Blackstone has a 5.8% dividend yield even though its Nov. 2 payout of 49 cents per share was well below its previous distribution of 74 cents in August.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Blackstone Group as a buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate Blackstone Group (BX) a buy. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team include:

  • BX, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 99.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Blackstone Group has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Blackstone Group increased its bottom line by earning $2.59 versus $1.98 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.8% in earnings ($2.31 versus $2.59).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 201.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $250.51 million to -$254.70 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BX

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.