Investing

Merrill Lynch Makes Big Q4 Changes to US 1 Stock List

Mondelez

This consumer sector giant makes good sense for conservative accounts. Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) manufactures and markets snack food and beverage products worldwide. It offers biscuits, including cookies, crackers and salted snacks; chocolates, and gums and candies; powdered beverages and coffee; and cheese and grocery products.

Its primary brand portfolio includes LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs Kaffee; and Tang powdered beverages.

Mondelez sells its products to supermarket chains, wholesalers, supercenters, club stores, mass merchandisers, distributors, convenience stores, gasoline stations, drug stores, value stores and other retail food outlets through direct store delivery, company-owned and satellite warehouses, distribution centers and other facilities, as well as through independent sales offices and agents.

Shareholders of Mondelez are paid a 2.53% dividend. The $56 Merrill Lynch price target is well above consensus posted target of $48.65. The stock closed Wednesday $41.16 per share.

Target

This stock remains a solid and safe retail total return play now. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) is one of the largest discount retailers in the United States, operating roughly 1,800 Target stores across the country. The company sells merchandise in its Signature Categories Style, Baby, Kids and Wellness, as well as other products in both physical Target stores and online at Target.com.

Since 2017, Target has poured tons of money into its e-commerce offerings, overhauling its stores and refreshing its inventory to better compete against Amazon. Target has even embraced the same-day delivery concept and is expanding retail floor space for toys as it looks to scoop market share after the closing of Toys “R” Us.

Most importantly, the company seems to have put some good distance between the headline issues that were public relations nightmares, and it continues to be a favorite destination of consumers.

Target shareholders are paid a stellar 3.03% dividend. Merrill Lynch has set its price objective at $100. The consensus target is $89.01, and the shares closed most recently at $84.42 apiece.

Two new additions to the Merrill Lynch US 1 list, and four additional stocks that offer a degree of safety and solid dependable dividends. With the market volatility spiking despite going into the seasonally strong mode, it makes sense to play things smart now, and these are good stocks to be in.

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