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4 Safest Stock Picks in 10 Industries

Stocks in this article: HAL AAPL KO

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Although quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve would boost stock prices, investors are worried that the economy needs government intervention. To play it safe, here are 10 large-cap stocks that rank as analysts' favorite picks within their sectors.

Most of these stocks won't soar -- but that's the point. These 10 companies are some of the largest and strongest in the U.S. The stocks are ordered by projected upside, from modest to medium. After each synopsis are the names and tickers of three more top-rated large-cap companies in the same sector.


Top Pick: CMS Energy (CMS) is an electric and gas utility in Michigan. Second-quarter net income increased 5.1% to $82 million, but earnings per share soared 86% to 39 cents. Revenue grew 9.4% to $1.3 billion. The operating margin widened from 12% to 16%. CMS has $558 million of cash and $6.7 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.2. Its stock trades at a book value multiple of 1.4, a sales multiple of 0.7 and a cash flow multiple of 3.9 -- 26%, 42% and 38% discounts to utility industry averages. All 15 analysts covering CMS advise purchasing its shares.

Bullish Scenario: Oppenheimer & Co. predicts that CMS Energy's shares will rise 7% to $20.

Three More Top-Ranked Utility Stocks:

CenterPoint Energy (CNP)

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG)

Sempra Energy (SRE)

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