Are you missing out on these 4 dividend champions?

They are some of the most well-known companies in Australia, and all four are forecast to pay a grossed-up dividend yield of more than 8%.

What’s not to like about that?

The number one stock on the list is perhaps one of the most surprising.

Woodside Petroleum’s (ASX: WPL) forecast dividend yield for this financial year is 7.11%, grossed up to more than 10%, once you include franking credits. As Australia’s largest independent oil and gas producer, Woodside is rolling in the cash after its Pluto LNG plant went into production in 2012. Just last week, the company signed a deal to supply Korea Gas with 2.2 million tonnes of LNG over three years, worth an estimated $2.9 billion. That comes on top of its existing contracts. Woodside doesn’t currently need to retain much of its bulging cash flow and is rewarding shareholders with higher dividends and special dividends.

Suncorp Group (ASX: SUN) is forecast to pay a 7% dividend yield this year, grossed up to 10%, and includes special dividends with potential for more to come. Chairman Ziggy Switkowski has told Fairfax Media that the company has more than $1.2 billion of surplus capital above its operating targets.

National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) is expected to pay a dividend yield of 5.9%, fully franked. Deutsche Bank analyst James Freeman expects the bank to underperform its peers this year, but rates it as a buy on forecasts for 2015. Should the UK economy turnaround, NAB has the potential to increase earnings and dividends, given its exposure through Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks.

Analysts expect Telstra Corporation (ASX: TLS) to pay a fully franked dividend yield of around 5.7%, which grosses up to 8.1%. The giant telco recently increased its interim dividend to 14.5 cents, after delivering a strong half year profit. Further growth in the dividend could come thanks to prodigious cash flows and the potential for a further $11 billion in payments over the NBN.

Foolish takeaway

While focusing on dividend yields alone is dangerous, holding high dividend paying stocks in your portfolio can provide some relief, should the market tank unexpectedly.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Telstra Corporation. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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