Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is currently the simplest of the largest defense contractors to analyze. It doesn’t have Boeing’s passenger jet woes. Its rival Raytheon has just merged with United Technologies, and some analysts and investors are still trying to assimilate their models there. Lockheed Martin stock comes with a 2.6% dividend yield, and its share price of $368 is still down 17% from its highs. With a $104 billion market cap, many investors will also classify it as safe due to a mega-cap valuation.
McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) has been hurt with the stay-at-home and work-from-home economy, with fewer people traveling back and forth to work. The company also does not have grocery store sales. Yet, for better or worse, McDonald’s is a staple of America and is a place that you can still feed a family for a very reasonable price. The company also has been migrating to healthier food items, even if very few people would debate whether their restaurants are “health food destinations.” McDonald’s stock is supposed to be defensive, but at $178 a share, it has a 2.8% dividend yield, and its shares are still down about 20% from its highs.
Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: MAA) is a $12.6 billion apartment real estate investment trust that currently comes with a 3.6% yield. It is still going to be some time before we know how many renters will try to avoid paying rent after April and May, but if the economy normalizes, it’s probably close to a sure thing that renters will be back to normal rent payments. One benefit to the apartment owners is that homeownership became much more difficult, having to come up with 20% down while the public is burning through its savings. At $111.00 per share, the stock is still down just over 25% from the highs.
Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) sounds like it would be immune to the COVID-19 storm, but patients have stopped going to doctors for nonessential reasons. That means the number of bloodwork tests will be lower until after the “catching the coronavirus at your doctor’s office” fears have passed. Quest’s shares fell from nearly $120 to $75, before a recent rebound off the lows. That sort of drop is not that unusual, but now there seems not to be the political risk since Medicare for All is toast. The company raised its dividend in late January, and it could see earnings drop by half before there was a serious concern about its $2.24 annualized dividend payment and 2.6% dividend yield comes under pressure. Besides, it could always choose to do nothing under its $1.2 billion in authorized share buybacks to maintain its dividend.
Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) may be in store for a choppy time with restaurants, offices and retailers closed, but it’s hard to displace companies that lead in garbage and sanitation. It’s also hard to get new landfills up and running for communities. With shares back up at $80.00, the rally has been up more than 23% from the panic-selling lows, but the stock is still down about 20% from its highs. This is a defensive sector, and after the commercial side of its upcoming problems is worked through, investors are going to have a deeply entrenched waste management provider. Its market cap is $26 billion, and its 2% dividend yield should be defendable with normalized earnings even with a $7.7 billion debt load.