Investing

BofA/Merrill Lynch Makes Changes to US 1 List (PFG, NEE, ENDP)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has made some key changes to its US 1 List, which is its collection of best investment ideas drawn from its universe of Buy-rated stocks from its fundamental equity research team. The list is set to be no less than 15 stocks, but usually numbers between 20 and 30 stocks.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) is being added to the US 1 list today. Bank of America said that this comes with less than half of the interest rate risk as peers and virtually no VA risk. The firm believes that Principal’s 2013 earnings could hit the upper end of its earnings guidance. It also said that sustained capital distribution here is a material positive for investors. While shares are down around $28 now, the price target objective that has been in place for Principal is $38 per share.

NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE), the former FPL, is being removed from the US 1 list today due to the stock being placed under an extended review. The other stock removed from the US 1 list is Endo Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: ENDP) due to Bank of America making an adjustment based on the overall composition of the list. Endo remains a Buy-rated stock, but that removal is due only to a rebalancing.

JON C. OGG

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