This old-school tech giant still offers investors a very solid entry point. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is a leading provider of enterprise solutions, offering a broad portfolio of information technology (IT) hardware, business and IT services, and a full suite of software solutions.
The company integrates its hardware products with its software and services offerings in order to provide high-value solutions. Analysts have cited the company’s potential in the public cloud as a reason for their positive outlook going forward.
The company’s CEO Ginni Rometty, who had been in the position since 2012, stepped down in January, and the stock market greeted the news in a very positive manner. Arvind Krishna, who has led the company’s cloud computing business, was named the new chief executive. Rometty will remain as executive board chair until the end of the year.
The company pays out a 4.73% dividend. The $176 BofA Securities price target compares with a consensus target for IBM stock of $143.82. The shares closed at $138.56 on Monday.
This remains a leading health care stock for conservative investors. Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular issues, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal infections, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, male pattern hair loss and fertility diseases.
The company also provides neuromuscular blocking agents for use in surgery, anti-bacterial products for skin and skin structure infections, cholesterol modifying medicines, non-sedating antihistamine and vaginal contraceptive products.
Shareholders receive a 3.54% dividend. JPMorgan has set a $100 price target on Merck stock. The consensus price target is $93.29, and the shares were last seen trading on at $73.36 apiece.
Five top Dow Jones industrial stocks still offer good entry points and pay dependable dividends. While the quantitative easing tapering will begin in November, it is highly unlikely the Fed actually will raise interest rates until 2023, so buying blue-chip stocks with solid total return potential remains a prudent investment choice for the rest of 2021 and beyond.