If we learned one thing from the 2007-2008 stock market collapse, it is that investors who can keep a cool head and be opportunistic in their purchases can make tidy profits as stocks recover.

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson benefited from this approach, as did individual investors including Michael Koza.

Koza, a civil engineer living near Sacramento, Calif., bought into financial services companies like Radian Group (RDN, news), Genworth Financial (GNW, news)and CIT Group (CIT, news)as investors panicked. His in-depth, homespun stock research and smart stock picking helped him score huge profits in 2009 and recoup a 40% loss in 2008. His 10-year average annual return is now an impressive 22%.

Wall Street's most-recent bloodbath also presents buying opportunities. One smart way to approach the carnage is to look for stocks that have relatively stable dividends. Dividends offer investors an opportunity to lock in high yields and collect payments as they wait for stocks to recover.

Of course, there is the risk that companies will eliminate their dividend if the economy worsens, though dividend-paying companies are loath to halt the payouts once they have initiated them.

Each of the stocks below has a relatively high dividend yield. The picks come from two sources: the website Dividend Channel and Bill Priest, the CEO and co-chief investment officer at Epoch Investment Partners. Priest is focused on finding sound companies with a long history of paying dividends.

1. Reynolds American: 6.1% yield.

Reynolds American (RAI, news)is a holding company for the nation's second-largest cigarette maker. It has five of the 10 best-selling brands in the United States, including Camel, Winston and Kool. The Winston-Salem, N.C., company also owns American Snuff, a maker of smokeless tobacco.

2. Coca-Cola: 2.8% yield.

Coca-Cola (KO, news)owns and licenses more than 500 nonalcoholic-beverage brands, including top-selling Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite.

3. Southern Copper: 7.4% yield.

Southern Copper (SCCO, news)produces copper, zinc, silver and molybdenum. It has mines in Peru, Chile and Mexico.

4. Eli Lilly: 5.5% yield.

Eli Lilly (LLY, news)develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals -- including antidepressant Prozac and osteoporosis treatment Evista -- that are sold in 140 countries. The Indianapolis company also manufactures animal health products.

5. H&R Block: 4.3% yield.

H&R Block (HRB, news)provides tax-return-preparation and tax-consulting services through more than 11,000 retail locations across the United States. In addition, it has locations in Canada and Australia. The Kansas City company also publishes do-it-yourself tax-preparation software and offers retail banking services through H&R Block Bank.

6. Leggett & Platt: 5.5% yield.

Leggett & Platt (LEG, news)designs and produces bedding, furniture, office displays and industrial materials. The Carthage, Mo., company has production and distribution facilities in 20 countries.

7. Lockheed Martin: Yield 4.2%.

Lockheed Martin (LMT, news)is a military contractor, with about 85% of its sales coming from the U.S. government. The Bethesda, Md., company provides aeronautics, surveillance systems, satellites and other products, as well as engineering and information services.

8. Paychex: 4.6% yield.

Paychex (PAYX, news)provides payroll, human resources and benefits outsourcing for small and midsize businesses. The Rochester, N.Y., company has about 535,000 clients in the United States.

9. Pearson: 3.6% yield.

Pearson (PSO, news)is a publisher of newspapers, books and educational materials. The London company is the world's biggest textbook publisher. It owns the Financial Times daily newspaper and half of the weekly Economist magazine. Book brands include Penguin and Viking.

10. United Parcel Service: 3.2% yield.

United Parcel Service (UPS, news)is the world's largest package-delivery company. It operates in 220 countries, making some 15 million deliveries a day.

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11. STMicroelectronics: 5.9% yield.

STMicroelectronics (STM, news)makes semiconductors and sells them to manufacturers in the automotive, communications, consumer electronics and industrial sectors.

12. Cinemark Holdings: 4.4% yield.

Cinemark Holdings (CNK, news)operates movie theaters in 40 states and several Latin American countries. Its 430 theaters show movies on more than 4,900 screens.

This article was reported by Matt Schifrin for Forbes.com.