Meet the Preliminary Dogs of the Dow for 2018

4. Exxon Mobil
> Yield: 3.67%

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) may remain the largest oil and gas giant of them all, but its shares were still down 7% so far in 2017. Perhaps it can find its mojo in 2018 with a higher floor on oil prices, and perhaps its large natural gas operations can finally pay off. Trading at $84.00, Exxon Mobil now has a consensus target of $86.50.

5. Chevron
> Yield: 3.43%

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) did better in 2017 than rival Exxon, with a gain of more than 6% with a few days before year’s end. That being said, it is still way short of the Dow’s gains. The share price of $125.25 compares with the $128.55 consensus target.

6. Merck
> Yield: 3.41%

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was last seen down more than 4% so far in 2017, and it faces the same price-pressure risk as rival Pfizer ahead. Shares were trading at $56.45. The consensus analyst target is $65.23.

7. Coca-Cola
> Yield: 3.25%

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) finally has generated close a 10% annual gain, but that still is less than half of the Dow as a benchmark. The company keeps managing to diversify away from sparkling sugar sodas, and that may continue to help ahead. Coca-Cola has a consensus analyst price target of $49.06. It was trading at $45.72.

8. Cisco
> Yield: 3.01%

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the only one of the preliminary Dogs of the Dow for 2018 that has managed to outperform the Dow, with its 27.5% total return. Cisco should be a winner under tax reform and has billions of overseas dollars that it can repatriate back to the United States. Its $38.60 share price compares to a consensus price target of $38.92.

9. Procter & Gamble
> Yield: 3.00%

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was last seen up 9.5% so far in 2017, and activist investor Nelson Peltz has now been named to its board of directors. The company has raised its dividend for 61 consecutive years, and with shares at $92.60, it has a consensus target price of $93.53.

10. General Electric
> Yield: 2.74%

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has had a pathetic 44% drop so far in 2017, and the departure of Jeff Immelt did not keep it from falling lower. It is debatable whether GE should even be allowed in the Dogs of the Dow now that it slashed its dividend in half. Shares were last seen at $17.55, and the consensus price target is still up at $21.99. That GE’s consensus analyst target was up at $28.50 just 90 days ago should spell out how painful owning GE has been.

11. Johnson & Johnson
> Yield: 2.40%

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has now raised its dividend payment for 55 straight years. The shares were last seen up almost 22% so far in 2017, which is more impressive than all but Cisco’s performance against rival Dow Dogs. The consensus analyst target is $146.82, and shares traded near $140.00.

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