Earlier this year, Dimon put his money where his mouth was and reportedly bought a stunning 500,000 shares of JPMorgan stock for a massive $26 million. That brought his total holdings in the bank to 6.7 million shares, worth over $360 million.
Investors receive a 2.78% dividend. The $74 Merrill Lynch price target compares with the consensus target of $72.24. Shares closed Friday at $69.11.
The fast-food giant has been on a roller-coaster this year, but it remains a solid pick for investors seeking dividends and a degree of safety. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer, with over 36,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business persons.
The company reported very solid third-quarter results after a so-so second quarter. Merrill Lynch noted this in a recent research report:
McDonald’s reported better than expected this operating results with global same store sales up 3.5%, including the U.S. up 1.3%. We maintain our 2016 GAAP earnings-per share estimate but are raising our 2017 estimate by $0.10. McDonald’s is executing restructuring plans.
McDonald’s shareholders receive a 3.35% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a whopping $140 price target. The consensus price objective is $127.32. Shares closed Friday at $112.10.
PNC Financial Services
This top regional bank recently was added to the Merrill Lynch US 1 list and offers investors a solid entry point. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) is one of the country’s largest diversified financial services organizations. It provides retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; and wealth management and asset management. With consistent earnings growth and a very positive and growing loan portfolio, the company is a premiere super-regional bank stock to own.
Wall Street analysts point to numerous positives, including the bank implementing huge cost savings plans. The bank is working on up to $100 million of new savings announced last year, and it is also applauded for outstanding credit/risk management and the limited exposure to the capital markets related areas, while focusing on traditional banking.
Merrill Lynch feels the underperformance this year makes the stock very attractive, and it notes the savings initiative and the move to digitization as positives to what is very solid banking story.
PNC shareholders receive a 2.31% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is set at $100. The consensus target is $96.80. Shares closed Friday at $95.10.
The stock market dislikes one thing more than almost anything else, and that is uncertainty. The resolution of the election, regardless of who wins, will at the minimum take away that uncertainty. All five of these blue chip leaders make good sense for growth and income portfolios.