Many of the companies are REIT or Business Development Companies (BDC), which are required to distribute most of their earnings in the form of dividends.
Among those mentioned are:
Company Yield %
PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq:PDLI) 16.89
Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation (NYSE:ANH) 15.02
Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY) 15.47
Frontier Communications Corporation (NYSE:FTR) 13.33
Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend (NYSE:AOD) 12.11
Apollo Investment Corporation (Nasdaq:AINV) 11.65
MFA Mortgage Investments (NYSE:MFA) 10.48
Another note has an interesting overview of the Business Development Companies.
Business development companies are similar in some respects to a REIT in that they must pass on 90% of their income to shareholders. In addition BDCs may not place more than 5% of assets in one company, can't own more than 10% of the voting stock and can't invest more than 25% of their assets in companies that are considered to be in the same industry. This provides a modicum of diversification.
Of particular interest, perhaps, Apollo Investment Corporation (AINV), which allows retail investors to invest in a quasi-private equity environment.
According to the Morningstar Equity Research Profile,
Externally managed by the private-equity firm of the same
name, Apollo is a closed-end business-development
company that invests in the debt and equity issuances of
middle-market companies. Subordinated debt, second-lien
loans, equity, and preferred stock make up 58%, 26%, 13%,
and 3%, respectively, of its investment book.