Many of the credit rating agencies were criticized for their ratings during the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008, especially with regards to collateralized debt obligation. However, investors still look at ratings for stocks to get some sort of guideline.
If you look at some of the major firms that rate stocks, and you look to see what stocks meet their highest ratings, you can get a good idea of what the major consensus is for which stocks are considered quality investments.
Standard & Poor's highest rating is five stars. The highest ratings for First Call Consensus are Buy and Strong Buy, the same with Jaywalk Consensus. The highest for Market Edge is Long, and for Jim Cramer 's TheStreet.com, the top rating is Buy. If you look to see which stocks meet all those ratings, and yield over 2%, you would come up with half a dozen firms. Here they are:
Windstream (WIN) 9.2%
AT&T Inc. (T) 6.5%
Genuine Parts (GPC) 3.9%
The Travelers Companies (TRV) 2.5%
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) 2.2%
Tupperware Brands (TUP) 2.1%
If you want to see other high yield stocks, such as high yield electric utilities and stocks that pay dividends monthly, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.
Author owns WIN and T.