If there is any holiday that we celebrate in the United States that is among the favorite among all citizens, it has to be the 4th of July. It transcends all walks of life, and the secular nature of the celebration makes it one for all residents to participate in honor of probably the most important in the nation’s history. From the largest cities to the smallest rural communities, the pride and participation of small kids to senior citizens marks this as truly a special day.
At 24/7 Wall St., we thought it was a good time to look at top companies that are usually big winners during the holiday and may be even bigger this year as the celebration falls on a Tuesday, so many will be taking Monday off for an extended long weekend. With parades, barbecues, boating, bands and much more, many Americans will be going to the store to get provisions for the big day or heading out for fun vacations.
We screened the Merrill Lynch research database and found five top companies that may have a huge start to the second-quarter because of the holiday, and all are rated Buy.
This company remains a top Warren Buffet holding and offers not only safety, but an incredibly strong worldwide brand. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. With coolers getting packed for picnics, parades and vacations, you can bet that they will be stuffed with products from this iconic American company.
Led by Coca-Cola, its portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade and Minute Maid. Globally, it is the top 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 its beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day.
It is also important to remember that the company also owns 16.7% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.
Coca-Cola investors receive a 3.3% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $48, while the Wall Street consensus target is $45.64. The stock closed Friday at $44.85.
This is a top consumer media company with multiple streams of income to push revenue, and it is a member of the Merrill Lynch US 1 list. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) stock continues outperforming on a near-term and long-term basis. With the movie studio business poised to improve, as with accelerating theme park business, the network programming continues to drive viewership with extensive sports programming. Combining that revenue growth with the company’s solid media networks and interactive presence, and the 2017 and 2018 revenue estimates could be conservative.
The Disney Media Networks segment operates broadcast and cable television networks, domestic television stations and radio networks and stations, and it is involved in the television production and television distribution operations. Its cable networks include ESPN, Disney Channels and ABC Family, as well as UTV/Bindass and Hungama. This segment also owns eight domestic television stations. Disney is also one of 24/7 Wall St.’s top 10 stocks to own for the next decade.
Families will be flocking this summer to the company’s theme parks, such as Disneyland, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and also the international parks. The long Independence Day weekend could jump start attendance.
Disney shareholders receive a 1.47% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a $134 price target, and the consensus price objective is $118.07. The shares closed Friday at $106.25.