We have noted for months here at 24/7 Wall St. that the market is very overbought and that we have not had a 5% market correction since this time last year. Toss in the fact that inflation is rearing its ugly head, and we could be in for the kind of September swoon that has hit the equity markets in the past.
Since the lows in March of 2020, the stock market has doubled. Think about that for a moment. The S&P 500 closed at 2,237 on March 23 of that year and closed Wednesday at 4,514, an incredible 100%+ gain in 17 months. Numerous reasons have been cited, including the incredibly loose monetary policy that has been in place for years but went nuclear when COVID-19 showed up in the winter of 2020. Toss in the Reddit WallStreetBets crowd, which had government hand-outs to trade with while locked up at home, and you had all the ingredients for the proverbial melt-up.
We screened the BofA Securities research universe looking for companies that paid solid and dependable dividends, had Buy-rated stocks and also had the firm’s best volatility risk rating. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a basis for a decision to buy or sell a stock.
This remains a top Warren Buffet holding and offers not only safety but also an incredibly strong worldwide brand with 40% overseas sales. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.
Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable brands, the company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the number one provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.
Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. Also remember that the company also owns 16.7% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.
Investors receive a 3.02% dividend. The BofA Securities price target for Coca-Cola stock is $64. The Wall Street consensus price target is $61.93. Shares closed on Wednesday at $56.42.