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Merrill Lynch's 10 Favorite Stocks for 2012

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7. Eli Lilly (LLY)

Company Profile: Eli Lilly is the 10th-largest pharmaceutical company in the world. It's pharmaceutical products include Cialis, Prozac, Methadone and Cymbalta.

Sector Representation: Health care

Share Price: $37.63 (Dec. 5)

Potential Upside: 14.3% based on a price target of $43

Investment Thesis: Analyst Gregg Gilbert favors Eli Lilly in the health care space because of yield, quality and inexpensive valuation. He notes that Eli Lilly is the highest dividend yield of the S&P 500 pharma stocks.

"Eli Lilly offers a good mix of low valuation, a track record of returning cash to shareholders, and pipeline optionality, in our view," Gilbert writes. "Any positive pipeline news or reasonable business development deals could result in improved sentiment."

6. CBS Corp. (CBS - Get Report)

Company Profile: CBS is a media conglomerate with a focus on television broadcasting and film, publishing and Internet. CBS, Showtime Networks, CBS Studios, CNet, and CBS Radio are among the company's assets.

Sector Representation: Consumer discretionary

Share Price: $25.72 (Dec. 5)

Potential Upside: 16.6% based on a price target of $30

Investment Thesis: Analyst Jessica Reif-Cohen says that media is her preferred industry in the consumer discretionary area, and that her focus on the theme of cash deployment makes CBS her top pick in the sector.

"We believe that CBS will benefit from an improving earnings mix due to growing subscription based revenue streams, solid fundamentals across the board and support from an announced $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization," Reif-Cohen writes. "Strong ratings in a solid advertising market drove a strong 2011 upfront for CBS, format changes at radio have driven station outperformance and improving outdoor will benefit from the 2012 London Olympics."

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AAPL $117.81 0.00%
APD $137.90 0.00%
CBS $50.75 0.00%
CTL $27.06 0.00%
LNC $54.93 0.00%


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