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Jim Cramer's Top High-Yielding Stocks

For investors looking for protection from a chaotic market environment, Cramer on Wednesday outlined his top high-yielding stocks.

Windstream : This rural telco provider's stock sports an 8.5 percent dividend yield. While Windstream's wire-line phone business is in decline, the company has been focusing on areas of growth, such as broadband and business services. Of Cramer's top high-yielding stocks, he said Windstream's dividend is the least safe, even though it has enough free cash flow to cover the payout. For investors looking for a safer play, though, he suggests Verizon .

Solar Capital : This specialty lender's stock pays a massive 10.7 percent dividend yield. Cramer would typically view a yield that high as a red flag, but this is a special case. As a business development company, Solar Capital lends money to small- and medium-sized companies that are too tiny or risky for most people to invest in. Solar Capital then returns 90 percent of its profits to shareholders by way of a huge dividend, Cramer explained. He likes the stock at current levels.

Energy Transfer Partners : This pipeline master limited partnership yields 8.3 percent. Cramer thinks of this company as a "steady toll operator for moving oil and gas around." Thanks to recent oil and gas discoveries, demand for new pipe has skyrocketed, benefitting ETP. Some investors are upset that the company did a massive stock offering that knocked its stock price down, but Cramer sees it as an opportunity to get shares at discount.

American Electric Power : This utility company is committed to paying out higher dividends, Cramer said, and the stock already has a 4.9 percent dividend yield. American Electric Power is one of the U.S.'s top generators of electricity and has the country's largest transmission system. Cramer prefers this utility to others, though, because he thinks its utility portfolio is among the strongest in the country and it provides power to the "Heartland" where manufacturing is "very strong."

Sanofi : This drug company pays a 5.4 percent dividend yield. Cramer likes Sanofi because it's a defensive play that doesn't need a growing economy for business to be good. In addition, it has the lowest exposure to Medicare of any big pharma company. So any potential cuts U.S. lawmakers make to the program are less of a concern. Meanwhile, the company is moving into faster growing areas, such as vaccines, diabetes, generics and more.

Read on for Cramer's Top Dividend Stocks 2011

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
GLLAX
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ETP
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SAN
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VZ
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WIN
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When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Sanofi.

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