8. Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
Company profile: Occidental, with a market value of $72 billion, is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the U.S., although it has global exploration and production operations. Its subsidiary, OxyChem, is one of the biggest marketers of chlorine and caustic soda. U.S. sales made up 63% of 2011's sales, followed by the Middle East and North Africa, at 33%.
Dividend Yield:2.43%. Note that Occidental has raised its dividend every year since 2002.
Investor takeaway: Its shares are down 5% this year, but have a three-year, average annual return of 9%. Analysts give its shares 11 "buy" ratings, five "buy/holds," and six "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "buy" with a $104 price target, which is a 17% premium to the current price.Morningstar analyst Allen Good wrote last week that while the company reported lower second-quarter earnings of $1.3 billion versus $1.8 billion last year (due primarily to lower oil and natural gas prices), it is making progress in "getting its operations on track and driving volume growth, particularly in the U.S.," which has been a recent focus. 7. WellPoint (WLP) Company profile: WellPoint, with a market value of $18 billion, is the largest managed health organization in the U.S. It offers various network-based managed care plans to large and small employers, individuals, and Medicaid programs. Dividend Yield: 2.1% Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 11% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 7.4%. Analysts give its shares seven "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," and nine "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "buy" with a 12-month price target of $68, a 26% premium to the current price. For fiscal year 2012, analysts' consensus earnings estimate is for $7.38 per share and growth of 12% to $8.24 per share next year. 6. Walgreen (WAG) Company profile: Walgreen, with a market value of $31 billion, is the largest U.S. retail drug chain in terms of revenue, and owns more than 8,000 drug stores throughout the U.S. The Fidelity Mega-Cap Fund has been a recent buyer. Dividend Yield: 2.48% Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 11% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 7.4%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, five "buy/holds," 12 "holds," one "weak hold," and three "sells," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Analysts' consensus estimate if for earnings of $2.60 per share this year, and $3.01 next year, or 16% growth. It's seen as benefiting from the aging populace and its need for more prescriptions, but is in a highly competitive and consolidating industry, which could hurt its sales in the long run. 5. Time Warner (TWX) Company profile: Time Warner, with a market value of $38 billion, owns some of the world's leading media and entertainment brands, including Warner Bros. (film/TV studio), Turner cable networks (TNT, TBS, CNN), the HBO/Cinemax premium channels, as well as several magazine brands through its Time Inc. publishing businesses. It generates about 30% of sales from outside the U.S. Dividend Yield: 2.63% Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 11% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 19%. Analysts give its shares 11 "buy" ratings, 12 "buy/holds," and nine "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Analysts' consensus estimate is for earnings of $3.20 per share this year and $3.63 next year, or 13% growth. S&P has it rated "buy" with a $44 price target, which is an 8% premium to its current price.
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