By Robert Hauver
Another one of the many high dividend paying stocks from our High Dividend Stocks by Sector tables, American Ecology, (ECOL), is the highest dividend stock in the Waste Mgt. industry, with a current dividend yield of approximately 4.25%.
ECOL provides hazardous and non-hazardous waste treatment, disposal, transport, and recycling services to government and commercial businesses, such as oil refineries, chemical producers, manufacturers, utilities, medical facilities and military bases, among others.
The firm managed to maintain steady earnings year-over-year for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2009, coming in at $.23/share again, which covered its dividend of $.18/share. Their income was aided by the intro of their new thermal recycling services at their Texas facility, which helped their refinery segment business to increase by over 100%.
ECOL bests its peer group in several important metrics in our Industry Comparison table :
|American Ecology||Waste Mgt. Industry|
There are covered calls and put options available for ECOL. The March 2010, $17.50 covered call option, (WQCCW), is currently bid at $.95. Covered call sellers could more than double this dividend by selling call options against their underlying shares. They’d also receive $.18/share in dividends during this period, for an annualized static yield of roughly 16%.
More conservative investors may want to sell the March 2010 $15.00 put option, (WQCOC), which is currently bid at $.80. As always, we advise selling cash-secured puts. The amount of cash reserve held by your broker varies from firm to firm. Some hold 100%, others as little as 25%, which can leverage your yields higher. Just be aware that, even if you do use leverage, you’re still liable for the net cost of the underlying shares, if they get put/sold to you.
Disclosure: No positions
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only.