Chubb has a beta of 0.49 and a forward annual dividend yield of 2.6%, and the company has been on a roll of late, beating analyst expectations in eight straight quarters, including a 20%-plus beat in its fiscal second quarter ended in June. Hurricane Irene, however, is expected to take a decent bite out of the company's third-quarter profits with Evercore Partners recently lowering its earnings estimate by 25 cents to 60 cents a share from 80 cents a share, putting Chubb's loss from the storm at around $350 million. Chubb shares closed Monday at $59.38, up 2.6%.
Hudson City's beta is at 0.64, according to S&P, while its forward annual yield is a whopping 5.8% at current levels, evidence of the stock's nearly 57% decline so far in 2011. The company undertook a major restructuring of its balance sheet in the first quarter, posting a loss and lowering its dividend to the current quarterly payout of 8 cents a share from its prior level of 15 cents at that time as it continues to deal with non-performing loans.
Wall Street is skeptical to say the least with 20 of the 21 analysts covering Hudson City shares at hold (18) or underperform (20). The stock finished Monday at $5.81, up 3.4%.Rounding out the list is Harris Corp. (HRS) with a beta of 0.88 and a forward annual dividend yield of 3.2%. The Melbourne, Fla.-based communications equipment company is the only tech name on the list, and its stock has lost more than 20% year-to-date. The company is slated to report its fiscal first-quarter results on Oct. 26, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of $1.05 a share on revenue of $1.46 billion in the September-ended quarter. Last time around, Harris delivered what it termed a "solid" in-line profit, and unveiled plans to return cash to shareholders in the form of a $1 billion buyback program and a 12% quarterly dividend boost to 28 cents a share. The shares settled at $36.28 on Monday, gaining 2.1%. So there's a few stocks worth checking out as stocks wrestle with so much uncertainty. While the jury is out on the current state of the market, Stovall notes that a bear market historically takes a while to reveal itself with the 12 bear markets since 1946 taking an average of nine months for the S&P 500 to come down a full 20%.
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