BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Does brand recognition correlate with stock outperformance? In the case of the, it might. They have outstanding brand power. And several enjoy lead market share in disparate industries, ranging from consumer electronics to Internet search. Each ranks in the top decile of the S&P 500, based on analysts' equity ratings. Below, the stocks are ordered by median predicted upside, from plenty to most.
Coke's stock has risen 3.1% a year, on average, since 2008 and 22% in the past 12 months. It currently ranks as analysts' second-favorite Dow stock, receiving "buy" ratings from 80% of analysts in coverage. Stifel Financial offers the highest target on Wall Street, predicting that Coke's stock will advance 16% to $75. JPMorgan, though ranking Coke "overweight", expects a rise to $66. Coke pays a quarterly dividend of 47 cents, equal to a yield of 2.9% and a trailing payout ratio of 33%. The dividend has grown 9.5%, annually, over five years.
Coke's adjusted fourth-quarter earnings increased 7.6% to 72 cents, modestly exceeding analysts' consensus forecast. Its sales climbed 40% past $10 billion, beating consensus by 3.1%. Yet, Coke's gross margin narrowed from 69% to 67% and its operating margin contracted from 25% to 19%. Coke held more than $11 billion of cash reserves at fourth-quarter's end, compared to $23 billion of debt, for a quick ratio of 0.9 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.8. Coke's worldwide volume and North America volume grew 6% and 8%, respectively, during the fourth quarter.