The Merrill Lynch research team at Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) is out with its key RIC report for 2013, which is titled “2013: Back to the Future” for the start of 2013. There are many outlooks and many picks to choose from, but we wanted to take a look at the firm’s quality and dividend screen. This is the firm’s high quality and dividend leaders.
We would note that this list does not have the same amount of turnover as some of the other buy and sell lists. As you will see on the full list, some picks have been on the list since 2010 and one has been on the list since 2009. BofA screens these for a debt-to-equity ratio, return on equity, and the dividend yield.
If you look at the image below you will see that the average yield is 2.8% on this group and that is above the 2.1% S&P 500 Index average yield. Be advised that the yields that firm ranks here are different from traditional screens that show the current yields. The full list is below in a snapshot from the RIC report but these are the five highest yielding stocks of the 18 in this portfolio:
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) leads the list with a 4.1% yield. This went on the list on April 1, 2012 and shares are hardly changed since the addition.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) is on the list with a yield of 3.2%. The oil giant has been on the list since December 2010 and is up about 30% since being added.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is on this list with a 3.2% dividend yield as well. The golden arches may have pulled back, but shares are still up handily since the brokerage firm has had McDonald’s on this list since February of 2009.
Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) is next with a yield of 3.1% and a low debt to equity of 0.6. This has been on the BofA/Merrill Lynch list since October of 2010 and shares are up about 25% since then.
The list shows a tie for the fifth spot with a 3% dividend yield between Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT). Emerson was only recently added at the start of this year but Microsoft has been on the list since August of 2011. Our own calculation shows that Microsoft yields 3.47% and Emerson yields 3.03%. That gives Microsoft the top spot.
Here are the rest of the positions from the US High Quality & Dividend Yield Screen selections for investors: