This top telecommunications company recently did away with some phone incentives, and it also resides on the Merrill Lynch US1 list. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is a global leader in delivering the digital world. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 109.5 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and it delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
Was Street has applauded Frontier’s acquisition of Verizon’s wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas, which is expected to be completed at the end of March 2016. Many feel that focusing on the higher margin segments at Verizon makes sense, and the sale to Frontier is a huge cash boost to the balance sheet.
Verizon investors are paid a massive 5.1% dividend. The Merrill Lynch’s $55 price target is higher than the consensus price objective of $50.41. Shares closed Monday at $45.04.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. It provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance through 8,700 locations, 12,800 ATMs, the Internet and mobile banking, and it has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.
Wells Fargo has slowly, but surely, become one of the biggest mortgage lending companies in the United States, in addition to its normal banking and brokerage businesses. A continued increase in commercial real estate lending could really boost the bank’s bottom line, which analysts feel could aid a big return in capital to shareholders. The stock remains a top Warren Buffett holding.
The Merrill Lynch team likes the stability, yield and some asset sensitivity that the big bank offers, and investors looking to add financials to their portfolio could do well buying shares, knowing that the bank has little exposure outside of the United States.
Wells Fargo shareholders receive a solid 3% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is $58, while the consensus is at $58.75. Shares closed Monday at $55.27.
While no stocks totally escape headline volatility, especially when terrorism is involved, these are all based in the United States and do the majority or all of their business there. So they should be less prone to selling, should another European event happen.
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