The recent market correction certainly doesn't make investors feel great when viewing their portfolios -- but it does offer a tantalizing opportunity.

Sure, there's plenty to worry about: gigantic federal deficits, sovereign debt problems in Europe, and an economic slowdown in China. But let's not forget that in the midst of all of this volatility lies the prospect of grabbing great companies at dirt cheap prices.

In particular, I'm a huge fan of dividend stocks. Renowned professor Jeremy Siegel has illustrated that from 1957 to 2003, when reinvesting dividends, the S&P's 100 highest-yielding stocks outperformed the market by an average of three percentage points. Over a long period of time, three percentage points can really add up. So if you can find dividend stocks trading cheaply, and can separate the good from the bad, you may find yourself a real winner.

In this regular series, I run a screen for dividend stocks that have gotten crushed in the last three months, in addition to companies that are trading at low P/Es. Below is a selection of those stocks that I like, additionally rated by our own 165,000-strong CAPS community.


3-Month Change

Dividend Yield

P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE: NM)





Apollo Investment (Nasdaq: AINV)





Paragon Shipping (NYSE: PRGN)





ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)





Exelon (NYSE: EXC)





Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

This index ain't helping
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which essentially charts the prices that dry bulk shippers receive for their orders, is a pretty good indicator of how the overall economy will do, and especially how shipping companies themselves will fare. As of late, the BDI has taken a beating, reaching new lows on consecutive days. This doesn't bode well for companies like Navios Maritime or Paragon Shipping, which both ship goods such as iron ore, coal, and fertilizers. Of course, it also doesn't help that they're located in Greece. Even though their success barely depends on the Greek economy, they've no doubt been lumped in with other Greek stocks getting pummeled.

Despite this challenging economic climate, shippers have been trying to diversify their fleets. DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS), for instance, has forayed into oil drill ships (after reporting a disappointing first quarter). Navios has entered the tanker space through its offshoot, Navios Maritime Acquisition. CAPS investors obviously think these companies can rebound, since they've bestowed Navios and Paragon with top five-star ratings.

Standing alone in the crowd
It's rare for a five-star stock paying a whopping 11% dividend to see its share price drop by 24% in just a few months, but that's exactly what's happened at Apollo Investment. This lender to midsize companies often does well when the companies it lends to do well; therefore, a healthy economy and decreasing unemployment help Apollo. Yeah, not exactly the climate we're looking at today.

Yet competitors such as Ares Capital have been able to close deals -- 11 in the last three months of 2009, double the number it did in the same period of 2008. Another competitor, American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS), has been able to do some turnaround work – restructuring its debt, cutting costs, and raising cash. In the three months that Apollo has dropped 24%, American Capital has barely slid by about 6%. However, I still like Apollo's chance to outperform; it has a lower debt-to-equity ratio than American Capital, and its dividend can't be beat.

Down in the dumps
Over the last three months, the iShares S&P Global Energy ETF has underperformed the broad market by about 5%. That obviously shouldn't surprise anyone, considering the BP oil spill and the ramifications it's had on the drilling industry. But in the stock market's blind crusade to crush all energy stocks, Wall Street has brought down some real winners.

Exelon couldn't be much further from the oil mess. It's an electric utility company that also operates about 17 nuclear reactors, which account for close to 20% of total U.S. nuclear capacity. It's been steadily increasing operating margins over the past five years, and over the same time frame boosted net income by an annual rate of nearly 7%. In addition, it continued to increase its dividend over the past three years, even amid the financial crisis and ensuing panic. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this all-star is plunging.

With a market cap north of $270 billion, you typically don't see ExxonMobil moving up or down by 15% -- at least not in a few months' time. The fear that drilling may be curtailed or more heavily regulated could be having its way with Exxon, but after its $41 billion purchase of natural gas player XTO Energy, Exxon should be more insulated from the oil market.

The Foolish bottom line
I don't see an immediate risk that any of the companies mentioned above will cut or suspend their dividends. All the same, they're being priced at extremely attractive levels. This could be the perfect time to jump in the market and find that outrageous dividend stock you've been looking for.

What do you think about the five stocks mentioned above? Sound off in the comments section below!

Jordan DiPietro owns shares of Exelon. Exelon is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing puts on Exelon. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.