Welcome to the seventh issue of The Big Dividend Report!

For new readers, in this series my aim is to check under the hood of the biggest dividends in the market and to keep you updated on the latest and greatest. We will limit ourselves to the biggest 20 dividend yields coming from companies with at least $2 billion in market cap.

In our first go-round, we looked at the payout ratio, the most fundamental metric to check for dividend health. In our second report, we looked at recent price movements in this volatile market. In our third report, we looked at recent news for the mortgage REIT industry. Our fourth report highlighted possible opportunities in foreign telecom. The fifth report focused on master limited partnerships and Nokia news. For the sixth report, we had some telecom and mREIT updates.

We're approaching the next big day for these high yielders. That's right -- it's officially earnings season! Soon, we'll get the latest tangible quarterly results as well as some management forecasts for three more months of data and competition.

Let's take a look at where our cohort of 20 companies stand today. Usually I rank the group in order of highest yield (after all, that's what this report is all about), but today, let's look at the list chronologically, based on estimated earnings-release date.



Dividend Yield

Earnings Date (Est.)

Nokia Information Technology 7.6% 10/20
Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY) Real Estate 14.9% 10/24-10/26
American Capital Agency (Nasdaq: AGNC) Real Estate 20.3% 10/25
Chimera (NYSE: CIM) Real Estate 18.3% 10/25
Hatteras Financial Real Estate 16.3% 10/26
MFA Financial Real Estate 15.3% 10/31-11/5
Cheniere Energy Partners Energy 12% 10/31-11/10
Terra Nitrogen Materials 9.5% 11/1-11/3
CenturyLink Telecommunication Services 8.4% 11/2
Portugal Telecom Telecommunication Services 12.8% 11/3
Frontier Communications Telecommunication Services 12.6% 11/3
Southern Copper (NYSE: SCCO) Materials 8.8% 11/3-11/8
Pengrowth Energy (NYSE: PGH) Energy 8.3% 11/4
Windstream Telecommunication Services 8.4% 11/4
Inergy Energy 11.3% 11/4-11/14
Cellcom Israel Telecommunication Services 10.1% 11/8
Hospitality Properties Trust Real Estate 8.1% 11/9
Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE) Utilities 9.4% 11/10
BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust (NYSE: BPT) Energy 7.2% 11/16-11/26
YPF S.A. Energy 8.9% No good estimate*

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, S&P Capital IQ, and Earnings.com.
*YPF's last earnings data was given in a Form 6-K in August.

Keep in mind that these dates are only the best estimates I could find. Unfortunately, earnings announcements aren't as regimented as major holiday schedules.

So what are we going to look for once the earnings are released? Here are 10 things we'll be watching (it's also a good initial checklist to analyze any company's release):

  1. Did earnings beat analyst estimates?
  2. Did earnings beat last year's figure, and if seasonality isn't an issue did earnings beat last quarter's figure?
  3. Any significant one-time events? Are these events truly one-time?
  4. How did the market react? Does it know something we don't?
  5. Does management have any insight into the future? Have any of their estimates or forecasts changed?
  6. Do management's statements and vision make sense? Does it differ with what you'd ideally want management to do or say?
  7. How are industry-specific metrics trending?
  8. Were there any significant events that change our view of the company's prospects?
  9. Any dividend news?
  10. Given all this, has the company's stock become cheap enough to buy (or, alternatively, expensive enough to sell)?

We're about to hit the heart of earnings season, and I'll keep you updated as we get more information on these high-yield dividend stocks. To keep track of all our analysis on any of these companies, including future issues of "The Big Dividend Report," add them to My Watchlist.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.