EPD's MLP status is significant because it makes the firm a dividend generation engine. EPD doesn't pay income tax on its earnings. Instead, it passes those earnings onto shareholders. As a result, EPD's dividend yield sits at 4.65% right now. Investors looking for income as well as capital gains in this market need to look no further than EPD.


Even as conventional retail stocks struggle this quarter, Macy's ( M) is showing investors some best-in-breed characteristics. The Cincinnati-based firm owns two of the best-known department store chains in the country, with more than 850 Macy's and Bloomingdale's locations spread across the U.S. While peers such as J.C. Penney ( JCP) have strapped on cement shoes ahead of earnings calls this month, Macy's is actually carving out material improvements in its business.

Most of the big changes to Macy's business came in the wake of the Great Recession, when the conventional retail model suddenly became a whole lot more difficult to execute on. Macy's has made significant strides toward improving its internal efficiency, improving its localized merchandising efforts and working on driving more traffic into its stores. And investors are seeing the payoff in the form of a return to profitability, incremental increases in same-store sales, and margin improvements that have put the firm's financials a cut above lately.

Macy's has been using a lot of that newfound financial performance to pay down debt and improve a balance sheet that's looked sketchy at times. Today, with $6.9 billion in debt and nearly $2 billion in cash, Macy's liquidity isn't a concern for investors. With rising analyst sentiment in shares right now, we're betting on this Rocket Stock.

Franklin Resources

In the last 12 months, the S&P 500 has climbed around 11%, which has significantly compounded the earnings potential at Franklin Resources ( BEN), the $30 billion asset management firm. Franklin manages more than $780 billion in stock, bond and hybrid funds targeted towards retail investors. As investors start to come around on buying equities again, Franklin stands to benefit in a big way.

As the fifth-biggest asset manager in the country, Franklin enjoys an attractive niche position in the market. Because it's an independent asset manager, it skirts the negative PR implications of big banks' investment arms but retains the scale to turn out deep margins in the double-digits. Advisors are a key part of BEN's customer strategy, and the firm's 130,000 advisors provide a direct way to attract assets across all of its investment styles. Most of BEN's assets are invested in fixed income right now, an asset class that generally earns smaller management fees than equities do - as investors warm up to the equity market, Franklin Resources should see its profitability warm up in kind.

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