Investing

If the Trade War Explodes, These 5 Stocks May Be the Safest Play Now

Lee Jackson

Equity Residential

This apartment REIT company owns properties in high-growth U.S. cities. Equity Residential Inc. (NYSE: EQR) is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of high-quality apartment properties in top U.S. growth markets.

As of March 31, 2019, it owns or has investments in 310 properties, consisting of 80,061 apartment units located primarily in Boston; New York; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco; southern California; and Denver.

The company pays investors a 2.82% distribution. Merrill Lynch has an $83 price target, while the consensus target was last seen at $78. The shares ended last week at $80.48 apiece.

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 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 of Simon Property receive a massive 5.15% distribution. The $188 Merrill Lynch price target is just below the $189.11 consensus price target. Shares ended trading on Friday at $159.25.

Welltower

This one pays a solid distribution and is a pure play on the aging U.S. population. Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) is a fully integrated and self-administered REIT invested across the full spectrum of health care real estate

The company also offers property management and development services. As of last year, Welltower had ownership interests in nearly 1,400 facilities in high growth markets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, across senior housing triple-net, senior housing operating, skilled nursing/post-acute and medical office buildings.

Welltower shareholders receive a solid 4.11% distribution. Stifel has an $87 price target and a Buy rating. The posted consensus target price is $82.80, and the stock closed at $84.76 on Friday.

Some of these five top companies have limited overseas exposure but do the great percentage of corporate business right here at home. Given the safety and dependable income, their stocks all make sense for nervous investors. Note though that they have had a big run, so scale buying makes sense when they pull back some.