5 Must-Own Merrill Lynch Income Portfolio High-Dividend Stocks

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Simon Property

Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) invests in the real estate markets across the globe. It engages in investment, ownership, management and development of properties. The company primarily invests in regional malls, premium outlets, mills and community/lifestyle centers to create its portfolio.

Through its subsidiary partnership, it owns or has an interest in about 230 properties in the United States and Asia. The company also has a 28.9% interest in Klepierre, a European real estate investment trust (REIT) with over 260 shopping centers in 13 countries.

One key driver of growth will include the more than $1.0 billion of development/redevelopment planned over the next few years. Merrill Lynch also feels that the company’s high-quality portfolio has weathered the retail storm much better than most.

Shareholders are paid a 4.60% distribution. The $215 Merrill Lynch price target is well above the $189.47 consensus target. The shares ended last week at $177.60 apiece.

Royal Bank of Canada

The financials have had a rough go of it, but this play is a solid way to be involved. Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY) is the largest Canadian bank by market capitalization. It has 1,200 branches across Canada and is first or second across virtually all product lines in term of market share on the retail front.

Management has built out a sizable global wholesale operation and, as a result, is deriving a larger proportion of its earnings from wholesale businesses than has been typical. Royal Bank of Canada has been fairly inactive on the acquisition front over the past several years.

Investors are paid a 4.03% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target was unavailable. The consensus target is $88.84, and shares closed way below that level on Friday at $76.03.

Pfizer

This top pharmaceutical stock made a gigantic splash last year with a $5.5 billion purchase of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is a global biopharmaceutical company with a diversified portfolio of products and pipeline candidates, and it is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world as measured by market capitalization and revenue. It also is a component of the Dow Jones industrial average.

The company’s commercial operations are bifurcated into two business segments: Innovative Health, which focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer health care products, in various therapeutic areas, and Essential Health, which offers branded generic products, biosimilars, anti-infectives and other products without marketing patent protection.

Investors in Pfizer receive a very solid 3.43% dividend. Merrill Lynch has set its price objective at $45. The consensus price objective is $44.14, and the shares closed most recently at $41.85.

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These five top stocks, all rated Buy at Merrill Lynch, come with outstanding dividends and have good growth prospects. With the market very pricey, and volatile, they make sense for investors looking to shift to lower beta profile stocks