This company has the enviable position of not being the contract target this year with the United Auto Workers union. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has reshaped the company’s product line in recent years, and sales have been outstanding. With sales booming not only in the United States, but in China, and six new models being introduced in Russia, the company is expanding market share, while maintaining a competitive pricing structure. Ford posted outstanding earnings for the second quarter and the analysts expect a strong second half of 2015.
The iconic F-150 truck remains the top-selling truck in America, and it has been the top-selling vehicle for the past 33 years, despite strong challenges from the competition. While consumers have bought vehicles in a big way in recent years, replacement continues as low interest rates, dealer incentives and increasing take home pay make a vehicle purchase an easy choice.
Ford investors are paid a very solid 4.19% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is $18. The consensus target is $17.41. Shares closed most recently at $14.31.
This is the world’s largest international integrated oil and gas company, and it reported better second-quarter revenue numbers, but earnings came in below Wall Street estimates. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is an energy sector play that the Merrill Lynch analysts are very positive on long term, as the overall corporate strength of the massive integrated giant plays a significant part in the company’s usually solid earnings reporting pattern.
Merrill Lynch has stressed in the past that the global downstream chemical segment plays a huge part for Exxon. It may be a part that many others on Wall Street do not fully appreciate as the segment contributes an estimated 16% of overall total revenue. A very solid reason for adding the stock to a long-term growth portfolio is that the company has consistently demonstrated disciplined investing, operational excellence and technological innovation.
Exxon investors are paid a very sizable 4.03% dividend. The Merrill Lynch target for the energy giant is $100. The consensus price objective is lower at $85.22. Shares closed trading on Tuesday at $72.86, down almost 15% for the year.
All these large cap leaders offer investors the kind of total return that can add up to long-term gains. In addition, to enhance total return investors can write covered calls on the positions and generate extra income. With all trading way below 52 week highs, they make good sense now.