American Express: What Credit Card Risk?
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was supposed to be virtually flat in 2017 after the loss of key customers, but it generated a surprising 34% gain. The credit card issuer closed out the year at $99.31 a share, and the consensus target price of $99.24 would imply a return of −0.07%. With the 1.41% dividend yield, Amex is expected to offer a mere 1.34% total return in 2018.
Apple: The First $1 Trillion Company?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the darling of the market due to being the closest company to having a $1 trillion market value. It was already expected to generate a return of almost 16% in 2017, but Apple generated a 46% return for the year. Apple closed out 2017 at $169.23 a share, and the consensus target price of $187.58 would imply a simple gain of 10.84%, if the pool of analysts is correct. Investors would see a post-dividend (1.49% yield) return of 12.33% in 2018 if the expectations come true.
Boeing: No Longer the Boom-Bust Cycle
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was the best-performing Dow stock of 2017, with a 89% gain, far north of the 4% expected by analysts a year earlier. At $294.91 per share at the start of 2018, the stock has a consensus analyst target of $291.52 that would imply an expected return of −1.15%. Including the dividend yield of 2.32%, that would imply a gain of just 1.17% for all of 2018.
The Mighty Cat: Still Driving Internationally
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) also handily outperformed expectations in 2017, with a total return of almost 70% versus an expected −1.9% total return at the start of 2017. At $92.74 a share, and with a consensus target price of $87.89, it has an expected total return after the 3.30% yield that would still be that same −1.9% that they were calling for a year ago.
Chevron: Looking Safe in Capex Allocation
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) managed to outperform its 2017 expected return of 5.3% with a gain of 6.4%. At $125.19 a share, the stock has a consensus target price of $128.55, and with the 3.45% dividend yield would imply an expected total return of 6.13% in 2018.
Cisco Systems: Still Short of All-Time High by Far
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was expected to return about 13% in 2017, but the stock closed out the year at $38.30, for a total return of about 26.7%. The new consensus target of $38.92 and the 3.03% dividend yield would generate a total return of 4.65%, if the analysts are proven right.
Coca-Cola: Not Just Coke Here
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) performed almost in line with expectations for 2017, with a return of 10.7% compared with an expected performance of 13%. Coca-Cola’s year-end share price of $45.88 would imply a total return of just over 10.1% if you look at the $49.06 consensus analyst target and the 3.23% current dividend yield.
DowDuPont: More Breaking Up to Do in 2018
DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) is the newly amalgamated combination of Dow and DuPont, so its performance over the course of 2017 is being excluded. The chemicals giant is also expected to break itself up into three companies going forward. Shares traded at $71.22 at the end of 2017, so the consensus target price of $81.52 and the current 2.13% dividend yield would imply an expected return of 16.6% for 2018. Just keep in mind that this does not account for any coming spin-offs.
Exxon: Gas May Finally Pay Off
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was called to end 2017 at $88.05 a share, for a return of just 0.9% in the past year, but the oil and gas giant posted a return of −7.3% for the year. Exxon’s 2018 starting price of $83.64 a share comes with a consensus target price of $86.50 and a dividend yield of 3.68%. If analysts are correct, Exxon’s return in 2018 would be about 7.10%.
General Electric or General Eclectic?
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was a serious disappointment to the investing world in 2017. After losing about 45% for investors last year, it is extra embarrassing for analysts after they were calling for a 10% gain in 2017. Now it feels like the analysts are holding hopes on an oversold stock status in 2018. The year-end price of $17.45 and a consensus target price of $21.99 would imply an expected return of 28.77%, when they add in the 2.75% dividend yield.
Goldman Sachs: Will Golden Slacks Return?
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) generated a return of 6.4% in 2017, far better than the 3% drop expected a year earlier. After closing at $254.76 in 2017, the consensus price target of $258.40 and the 1.18% dividend yield would imply an expected total return of 2.61% in 2018.