The Street’s Key Stock Analysts Research Reports

$BAC, $AEP, $KO, $XOM, $MCD, $PG, $PFE

Daily HeffX-LTN reviews dozens of  the Street’s Key analysts research reports to ID new trading and investing ideas for HeffX-LTN readers. Some reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

Below is a list of The Street’s Key analysts outlook for Key dividend producing issues for Thursday from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) as follows:

American Electric Power

This industry-leading utility is also a solid dividend-paying company. American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE:AEP) is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.4-M customers in 11 states.

The company ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States.

It also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

Wall Street feels that the stock trades at a discount to its peers, and they feel it deserves a premium.

Top analysts also think the company may sell generating assets and buy back shares with the proceeds, which would be also accretive.

American Electric Power shareholders receive a 3.64% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is 84, the consensus price target is 78.94. Shares traded Wednesday at 74.05.

Coca-Cola

This top Warren Buffet holding not only offers safety but an incredibly strong worldwide brand with 40% overseas sales. 

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, the company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the number one provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.

Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola beverages at a rate of more than 1.9-B servings a day. Remember that the company also owns 16.7% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.

Coca-Cola investors receive a 3.4% dividend. Merrill Lynch has set its price target at 55, and the consensus target is 51.66. The stock was trading at 46.15 Wednesday.

Exxon Mobil

This company remains a Top energy pick on the US 1 list at Merrill Lynch. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) is the world’s largest international integrated oil and gas company. It explores for and produces crude oil and natural gas in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa and elsewhere.

The company manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, and specialty products, and it transports and sells Crude Oil, Nat Gas and petroleum products.

The company posted strong Q-3 results, and the Merrill Lynch analysts noted this: Solid Quarter with earnings and cash flow beat on the downstream segment. Production beat looks like it is on Permian growth which we view as underappreciated aspect to the company’s story. All-in-all, we see the Quarter as a welcome start to management plans to 2X cash flow by Y 2025 and retain our Buy rating.

Shareholders receive a 5.0% dividend. The 108 Merrill Lynch price objective is well above the consensus target of 87.09. The shares traded Wednesday at 65.10.

McDonald’s

The fast-food giant does a lot of business overseas, but remains a solid pick for investors seeking dividends and a degree of safety.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) is the world’s leading global food-service retailer with over 37,000 locations serving approximately 69-M customers in over 100 countries daily.

More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

McDonald’s shares have been positive recently as menu price increases and global growth fueled a strong Q-3 earnings report.

McDonald’s beat earnings on the Top and Bottom lines, and the company posted its 13th consecutive Quarter of positive same-store sales growth.

McDonald’s shareholders receive a 2.72% dividend. Merrill Lynch has price target of 200. The consensus price objective is at 195.44, and shares were trading at 170.00 Wednesday.

Procter & Gamble

This stock also offers a very solid dividend and safety. Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) is another solid consumer staples stock for conservative investors to consider. It sells lots of very well-known household items that are essential for everyday life. Brands include Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Charmin, Gillette, Oral B, Crest, Olay, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Ariel, Gain, Always, Tampax, Downy and Dawn.

The company actually is innovative in its product development process and uses that to help ensure future growth and cash flow. This should provide investors years of steady growth and dividends.

The Merrill Lynch team recently turned positive on the stock and noted this:Merrill Lynch hosted investor meetings at the company’s headquarters with CFO Moeller which corroborate this analysis. Risks remain, but manageable given momentum and defensive qualities which we see as attractive in a volatile equity market.

Shareholders receive a 3.28% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a 108 price objective. The consensus target is 90.88, and the stock traded at 87.95 Wednesday.

Pfizer

This top pharmaceutical stock made a big move last year with a $5.5-B purchase of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is a global bio-pharmaceutical company with a diversified portfolio of products and pipeline candidates, and it is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world as measured by market capitalization and revenue. It also is a component of the DJIA.

The company’s commercial operations are bifurcated into 2 business segments: Innovative Health, which focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer health care products, in various therapeutic areas, and Essential Health, which offers branded generic products, biosimilars, anti-infectives and other products without marketing patent protection.

Investors receive a 3.55% dividend. Merrill Lynch price objective at 47 compares with the target price of 45.32. The shares traded at 40.65 Wednesday.

Stay tuned…

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

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