Travelers, Verizon Among Best Dow Stocks in April

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 1.59 points, or 0.01% in the month of April. Year-to-date, the blue-chip index has advanced 8.5%.

The top percentage gainers within the index last month were Travelers ( TRV), Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T), Kraft Foods ( KFT) and American Express ( AXP).

Shares of Travelers rose 8.65% in April to close at $64.32.

On April 19, the insurance giant reported first-quarter earnings of $806 million, or $2.02 a share, beating Wall Street's consensus view by more than 30%.

Shares of Travelers hit a 52-week high on April 26 of $64.82. The stock's 52-week low of $45.97 was set on Oct. 4.

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Travelers' shares trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 10.31X; the average for its peers is 12.57X. For comparison, Chubb ( CB) has a higher forward P/E of 12.15X.

Fourteen of the 26 analysts who cover Travelers rate it at buy. Eleven analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell.

The stock has risen 8.7% year to date.

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Verizon shares increased 5.62% in April to $40.38.

On April 19, the telecommunications company reported first-quarter earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $28.24 billion, topping the consensus view for a profit of 58 cents a share on revenue of $28.17 billion.

Verizon shares trade at a forward P/E of 14.49X. For comparison, AT&T has a lower forward P/E of 12.87.

Twenty-one of the 38 analysts who cover Verizon rate it at hold. Sixteen analysts give the stock a buy rating and one rates it at sell.

The stock has risen 1.5% so far in 2012.


AT&T shares rose 5.38% in April to $32.91.

On April 24, the company reported first-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share on $31.82 billion in revenue. Analysts were anticipating earnings of 57 cents a share on revenue of $31.85 billion.

Shares of AT&T hit a 52-week high on Monday of $32.95. The stock's 52-week low of $27.29 was set on Sept. 12.

Twenty-two of the 39 analysts who cover AT&T rated it hold. Fifteen analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell.

The stock has risen 9.26% so far in 2012.

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Shares of Kraft Foods rose 4.89% to $39.87.

On April 5, Kraft Foods filed a registration statement about splitting the company into a North American grocery business and a global snacks firm.

Shares of Kraft Foods hit a 52-week high on Monday of $39.93. The stock's 52-week low of $31.88 was set on Oct. 4.

Kraft Foods' shares trade at a forward P/E of 14.21X; the average for food products companies is 13.64X. For comparison, Sara Lee ( SLE) has a higher forward P/E of 20.95X.

Sixteen of the 21 analysts who cover Kraft Foods rate it at buy. Four analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell.

The stock has risen 6.29% year to date.


American Express shares increased 4.06% in April to $60.21.

On April 18, the credit card company reported first-quarter earnings of $1.26 billion, or $1.07 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $1.18 billion, or 97 cents a share.

Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high on April 27 of $60.96. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4.

American Express shares trade at a forward P/E of 12.52X; the average for its peers is 11.98X.

Sixteen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rate it at buy. Eleven analysts give the stock a hold rating and four rate it at sell.

The stock has risen 28.2% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.

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