Market Overview

Nine Dividend Payers Up More Than 20% in Six Months

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So maybe you got out of the market when things got crazy, and you are looking to put a toe back in the water now that stocks have largely rebounded. Or perhaps you have been riding out the volatility but thinking you ought to diversify a little more. Well, here is a quick look at some options. They are all mid cap or larger dividend payers. And their stocks are all up more than 20% in the past six months and trading above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages. As always, do your homework and/or consult your financial adviser before making any moves.

Arch Chemicals (NYSE: ARJ): Shares jumped 11% in July after the company announced that it would be acquired by European-based Lonza Group. The acquisition is expected to be be completed later this year. Arch Chemicals has a market cap of $1.2 billion and a dividend yield of 1.7%. The share price is still in the neighborhood of the 52-week high of $47.76 and almost 43% higher year over year. The stock has outperformed Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) year to date.

British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI): The company in May agreed to buy the second largest cigarette company in Colombia. It also increased its dividend 15% from the same period of the previous year. British American has a market cap of $89.7 billion and a dividend yield of 4.3%. The share price is about 34% higher than a year ago, as well as up nearly 9% in the past week. The stock has outperformed competitors Altria (NYSE: MO) and Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) year to date.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE: BIP): This Bermuda-based company announced strong second-quarter results earlier this month, due in part to a merger in 2010. It also increased its distribution for the second time this year. That yield is 5.2%, and the P/E ratio is only 5.9. The company also has a return on equity of 22.7%. Shares are trading more than 32% higher year to date. The stock has outperformed the broader markets over that time.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP): Deutsche Bank upgraded this S&P 500 member following its better-than-expected second quarter results. CenterPoint attributed results in part to investments made in Haynesville shale. Its market cap is $8.3 billion and its dividend yield is 4.0%. Shares jumped more than 14% this past week and are about 41% higher than a year ago. The stock has outperformed American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) year to date.

Chunghwa Telecom (NYSE: CHT): With the telecom market in Taiwan approaching maturity, Chunghwa has been exploring other markets, particularly in Southeast Asia and China. The company has a dividend yield of 5.5% and a market cap of $33.4 billion. The share price is almost 80% higher than a year ago, up about 44% year to date. The stock has outperformed AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), as well as the broader markets, year to date.

El Paso Electric (NYSE: EE): Hot weather and peak summertime rates boosted second-quarter profit above expectations at this public utility company, which also raised its dividend earlier this summer. The dividend yield is 2.5% and the market cap is $1.5 billion. The share price is up nearly 13% from a week ago and more than 53% higher year-over-year. The stock has outperformed the broader markets year to date.

MasterCard (NYSE: MA): In the second quarter, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) increased its stake in the second largest credit card processing company. Analysts see earnings rising 26% in 2011. MasterCard has a market cap of $42.6 billion and its dividend yield is 0.2%. The share price is almost 15% higher than a week ago and up more than 59% year over year. The stock has outperformed American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Visa (NYSE: V) year to date.

Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS):This direct sales marketer of personal care products reported better-than-expected second-quarter results driven by continued strong growth in the emerging markets. Its long-term EPS growth forecast is 13.2% and the dividend yield is 1.6%. Shares are trading more than 49% higher than a year ago. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitor Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) and the broader markets.

Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: THP): This Iowa-based producer of nitrogen fertilizer products to agricultural and industrial customers in the U.S. reported strong year-over-year earnings and revenue growth for the second quarter. The $3.2 billion market cap company has a dividend yield of 6.6%. The share price is more than 106% higher than a year ago, as well as up about 17% in the past week. The stock has outperformed competitors Agrium (NYSE: AGU) and Potash (NYSE: POT) year to date.

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