This top pharmaceutical stock made a gigantic splash earlier this year with a $5.5 billion purchase of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has a very strong pipeline, and being the world’s largest drug manufacturer by sales value supports the Wall Street notion that the company can generate higher long-term revenues through the accelerated growth of its new drugs over the next five years.
The company continued its acquisition plans when it announced last month another gigantic purchase, acquiring Medivation, a biotech focusing on oncology drugs for a stunning $14 billion. Medivation’s drug, Xtandi, already generates about $2 billion in yearly sales and has the potential to more than double, according to analysts. Pfizer said the deal would add five cents to earnings in the first full year after closing and isn’t expected to affect its 2016 financial guidance. Pfizer said it plans to finance the transaction with its cash holdings.
Pfizer has announced that it is starting 20 clinical trials this year, and more soon after, on treatments to conquer cancer, as it also seeks to gain leadership in one of the hottest and most lucrative areas of medicine. Hedge funds seem to like the stock as 22 own it now.
Pfizer investors receive a 3.55% dividend. The consensus price target is $39.53. Pfizer closed Monday at $33.65.
This top telecommunications company has backed up some and is offering a nice entry point. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is a global leader in delivering the digital world. Verizon Wireless operates America’s self-described 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.
The company reported solid second-quarter earnings; however, revenues came in short of Wall Street expectations. The analysts note that management kept guidance in line with expectations, excluding the impact of the strike-related work stoppage.
Verizon also announced back in the summer the purchase of Yahoo’s core operating business for $4.8 billion in cash. The analysts feel it plays into Verizon’s strategic drive to expand into advertising and content, and they also think the transaction is largely immaterial from a financial perspective.
Verizon investors receive a 4.52% dividend. The consensus price objective is $54.09. Shares closed Monday at $51.41.
This large cap bank is another stock for investors to look at now for safety, dividends and solid upside potential. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. The company provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance through 8,700 locations, 12,800 ATMs, the Internet and mobile banking. It also 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 and overall revenue. The stock also remains a top Warren Buffett holding, and he raised his holdings in the bank to 10% on the stock’s weakness earlier this year.
The company reported inline results and earnings revisions, which didn’t go over well after the other major banks posted big earnings. Wells Fargo also had a recent public relations headache as it was revealed that employees allegedly opened up client accounts that were not approved. The dip in the shares due to the bad publicity could be a solid purchase level for long-term investors.
Shareholders are paid a 3.3% dividend. The consensus price target is $53. Shares closed Monday at $46.54.
Staying with large cap, low-P/E, dividend-paying companies makes good sense for now, and regardless of who wins, probably will remain the stocks that Wall Street will continue to like in 2017.