Top Dividend Stocks of 2011

Here's a quick look at nine of the best-performing stocks of the past year that also had dividend yields of 2% or more.
Advance America, Cash Advance CentersAEA
shares ended the year almost 65% higher, despite a recent pullback from the 52-week high. The company recently completed the acquisition of the assets of CompuCredit. The South Carolina-based nonbank financial company has a market cap of $558.8 million, a long-range EPS growth forecast of 15.0% and a dividend yield of 2.8%. In the past year, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Flushing Financial
FFIC
.
Atlas EnergyATLS
ended the year up more than 66%, as well as up almost 91% from the 52-low in October. The Pennsylvania-based natural gas processor announced in October the formation of an MLP focused on exploration and production. Atlas has a market cap of $1.2 billion, a long-term EPS growth forecast of 49.5% and a dividend yield of 3.9%. The stock has outperformed peers Continental Resources
CLR
and Crosstex Energy
XTXI
year to date.
B&G FoodsBGS
is up about 83% since the beginning of the year and more than 45% higher in the past 90 days. This New Jersey-based producer of shelf-stable foods recently purchased Ms. Dash, Baker's Joy and other brands from Unilever
UL
. The $1.2 billion market cap market cap company has a dividend yield of 3.8% and a return on equity of 22.8%. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors General Mills
GIS
and Kraft Foods
KFT
.
EV Energy PartnersEVEP
shares are trading almost 77% higher year to date but have pulled back more than 15% from the 52-week high. The COO takes up the reins as CEO of this Houston-based oil and natural gas property developer on January 1. The market cap is $2.3 billion and its dividend yield is 4.6%. Six of eight analysts rate the stock a Strong Buy. Year to date, the stock has outperformed competitors such as Chesapeake Energy
CHK
.
Golar LNGGLNG
ended more than 207% higher for the year, as well as up almost 41% in the past quarter. The stock of this international liquefied natural gas transporter has nearly doubled each and every year over the past three years. It has a market cap of $3.6 billion, a dividend yield of 2.7% and a mean price target more than 13% higher than the current share price. The stock has outperformed competitor Teekay LNG Partners
TGP
over the past year.
ONEOKOKE
is up more than 61% for the year, ending just shy of a multiyear high. Earlier this month, this natural gas distributor announced it would exit the retail marketing business by selling a subsidiary. This Tulsa-based company is an S&P 500 component with a market cap of $8.9 billion and a dividend yield of 2.6%. Four of eight analysts recommend buying the stock, which has outperformed peers such as Dynegy
DYN
and OGE Energy
OGE
over the past year.
Targa ResourcesTRGP
is up about 56% year to date and more than 17% higher just in the past month. The Houston-based company announced management changes in early December. This natural gas distributor has a market cap of $1.7 billion and a dividend yield of 3.0%. Its long-range EPS growth forecast is 15.5%. The stock has outperformed the likes of Enterprise Products Partners
EPD
and ONEOK Partners
OKS
since the beginning of the year.
Terra NitrogenTNH
is up more than 71% since the beginning of the year, despite being down about 14% from the 52-week high. The company has increased its cash flow from operations, while reducing its capital expenditures. The fertilizer producer has a market cap of $3.1 billion, a dividend yield of 8.3% and an operating margin much better than the industry average. The stock has outperformed Agrium
AGU
and CF Industries
CF
over the past year.
VF Corp.VFC
is up about 51% over the past year, despite a pullback of about 8% in the past month. The apparel maker's brands include Vans, North Face, Wrangler and the recently acquired Timberland, and it has raised its dividend for 39 consecutive years. The North Carolina-based company has a market cap of $14.0 billion and a dividend yield of 2.3%. The stock has outperformed Columbia Sportswear
COLM
and Gildan Activewear
GIL
over the past year.
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