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Merrill Lynch Has 4 Top Dividend Stocks Called Huge Bargains Now

With the market very expensive, and trading like it is very toppy, investors are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The bond market, especially U.S. Treasury bonds, looks like a total bubble, and many people just don’t have the stomach for high-yield or emerging market debt. So the focus shifts back to stocks that pay a solid divided, and unfortunately many of those are also trading at 52-week highs.

We screened the Merrill Lynch research database looking for stocks rated Buy that also paid at least a 3% dividend. In addition, we screened for stocks that have been hit hard either recently, within the past six months. We found four outstanding values for investors to consider now.


This company remains a top Warren Buffet holding and offers not only safety, but an incredible strong worldwide brand. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Led by Coca-Cola, its portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade and Minute Maid. Globally, it is the top provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy its beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day.

Despite reporting second-quarter earnings that came in above some estimates, slower growth and flat volumes brought out the sellers and they tagged the stock big time. It is important to remember though that the company own 31.5% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.

Coca-Cola investors are paid an outstanding 3.21% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $52, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $48.35. The stock closed Thursday at $43.65.

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