BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- With the Federal Reserve blessing riskier assets through QE2, investors are seeking cheap stocks that can offer downside protection if the economy worsens. Here are 10 large-cap companies with net liquidity positions, meaning they have more cash than debt. No matter the industry, cash is king. Companies with excess cash can boost dividends, buy back shares or purchase competitors, rewarding shareholders.
Below, the companies are ordered by net cash balance, from plenty to too much.
10. Stryker (SYK) is a medical-technology company, making orthopedic implants and surgical equipment. Its third-quarter profit surged 47% to $338 million, or 85 cents a share, as revenue grew 6.9% to $1.8 billion. The operating margin widened from 23% to 27%. Stryker's stock trades at a forward earnings multiple of 14, a book value multiple of 2.8, 26% and 34% discounts to health care peer averages. It pays a 1.2% dividend yield with a payout ratio of 19%. Roughly 58% of analysts covering Stryker rate its stock "buy" and the remainder rank it "hold."
Bullish Scenario: Piper Jaffray (PJC) offers a $59 target, suggesting a 12-month return of 14%.