Consolidated Edison owns 62 area distribution substations and various distribution facilities; 39 transmission substations and 62 area stations; electric generation facilities with an aggregate capacity of 724 megawatts that run on gas and fuel oil; 4,348 miles of mains and 369,791 service lines for natural gas distribution; and one steam-electric generating station and five steam-only generating stations.
The company operates 572 circuit miles of transmission lines; 14 transmission substations; 86,794 in-service line transformers; 3,994 pole miles of overhead distribution lines; and 1,889 miles of underground distribution lines, as well as 1,867 miles of mains and 105,482 service lines for natural gas distribution. In addition, it is involved in the sale and related hedging of electricity to retail customers, and the provision of energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers.
Holders of Consolidated Edison stock receive a safe 4.17% dividend. The $78 BofA Securities price target is close to the $77.53 consensus target. The shares closed most recently at $73.93.
The fast-food giant continues to revamp both stores and the menu, and it is a solid pick for more conservative accounts. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is the world’s leading global food-service retailer with over 37,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local businesspersons.
Wall Street September checks of the fast-food giant suggest trends are on pace to be sequentially higher, driven in part by upcoming promotions including Spicy McNuggets and the Travis Scott Meal promotion. Operators also indicated that the company’s breakfast sales, which were slammed hard amid pandemic shutdowns and the work-from-home trend, have seen some very solid improvement. McDonald’s has one of the best fast-food breakfast menus.
McDonald’s looks to be on track to beat third-quarter same-store sales estimates, and many are now modeling for the company to report comparison growth of 5.0% for the quarter, up from 3.5% previously. In fact, comps were up about 5% in the final 10 days of August, climbing to the high-single digits in early September. That figure jumped to more than 10% from Sept. 8 on, an acceleration attributed to the introduction of the Travis Scott Meal, which drove an estimated 400 to 500 basis point lift to same-store sales. Travis Scott is a popular American rap star, and his quarter pounder meal is selling out in markets across the nation.
The dividend yield is 2.35%. BofA Securities has set a $225 price target. The consensus target is $220.77, and McDonald’s stock was last seen trading at $216.12.
This top consumer staples stock fits the bill for worried investors. PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) operates as a food and beverage company worldwide. Its Frito-Lay North America segment offers Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips; Doritos, Tostitos and Santitas tortilla chips; and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, branded dips and Fritos corn chips.
The Quaker Foods North America segment provides Quaker oatmeal, grits, rice cakes, natural granola and oat squares, as well as the soon to be changed Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, and Quaker Chewy granola bars, Cap’n Crunch cereal, Life cereal and Rice-A-Roni side dishes.
Pepsi’s North America Beverages segment offers beverage concentrates, fountain syrups and finished goods under the Pepsi, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Aquafina, Tropicana Pure Premium, Sierra Mist and Mug brands, as well as ready-to-drink tea and coffee, and juices. It is one of the companies that helped Americans survive the pandemic.
Shareholders receive a 3.15% dividend. The BofA Securities price target is $150. The consensus target is $146.59, and PepsiCo stock closed at $131.58.
The recent selling should come as no surprise to investors. The massive rally that exploded off the March lows pushed many of the stock indexes to all-time highs, all while a pandemic was going on and much of the U.S. economy was shut down. While 2021 should prove to be a much better year, both economically and psychologically, with a resolution of the election and hopefully a COVID-19 vaccine, we still have to get there intact. Playing it safe with conservative dividend stocks is a solid way to go now.
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