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Ten stocks to look at in the panic

Even high-quality blue-chip stocks have been thrown overboard in the panic of the past six days.

Shares in some of the world’s strongest and most profitable names have been knocked down 5%, 10% or in a few cases even more in the global selloff.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen next in Japan. And nobody can say for certain what it will mean for the global economy.

Listen to Ben Inker. He’s the head of asset allocation at fund shop GMO. “However horrific the human cost,” he wrote this week, “economically, most disasters are hard to spot in the data. GDP does not necessarily fall, and if it does, the bounce-back is usually quite rapid.”

And, as he added, the events of the next few months, even years, don’t actually matter that much to the true value of the stock market anyhow.

There are no guarantees. But if you’ve been struggling to find decent places to invest, and you’ve been waiting for better prices, the following stocks are worth a look:

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. : Yes, it has its troubles. Like falling same-store sales here in the U.S., and too many customers living on food stamps. But it’s still an incredible retailer. This stock is back to levels seen three years ago. As recently as January it was at $58. Today it’s just $51.That’s a paltry 12 times forecast earnings, and the dividend yield is 2.8%.
  • Coca-Cola Co. : Last week it was nearly $66. Today it’s tumbled all the way down to $61. And for the world’s biggest brand name that’s cheap, on 12 times forecast earnings, with a 3% yield.
  • Procter & Gamble Co. : The classic widow and orphan stock. The Crest, Tide and Gillette behemoth, $67 recently, has been marked down to $60. Reasonable on fifteen times forecast earnings, with a healthy 3.2% yield.
  • Johnson & Johnson : The health-care giant has had a rough few months, and has been hit by product recalls. The stock has tumbled to $58, from a peak of $66 in the fall. On 12 times forecasts, with a yield of 3.7%, it has priced in a fair amount of gloom already.
  • Microsoft Corp. : I hate most of their software, and recently wasted hours grappling with a Windows Mobile product, but I can’t deny the stock is cheap. It’s down to just $25, from nearly $30 recently. Just 10 times forecast earnings, yielding 2.6%.
  • Merck and Co. Inc. : It’s at $31, from nearly $34 recently. As with most of the big pharmaceutical companies, investors face the usual trade-off between slow growth and awesome cashflow. But at 8 times forecasts, and with a fat dividend yield of 4.9%, this stock has already priced a lot of that in.
  • Vodafone Group PLC : This British firm is the world’s largest mobile-network operator, and owns a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless here in the U.S. The stock is down to $27, from nearly $30 recently. A bargain at 10 times forecast earnings, with a yield of 4.8%.
  • Diageo PLC : The world’s biggest drinks company — brands include Guinness beer, Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum and a whole range of Scotch whiskys. It’s now $72, down from nearly $81 recently. Reasonable on 14 times forecast earnings, yielding 3.5%.
  • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. : Here’s one Japanese stock even a grandmother might want to think about. Japan’s Ma Bell has U.S.-listed depositary receipts. They’re $22, from $25 recently. Now on 10 times forecasts, yielding a remarkable — for Japan — 2.8%.
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC : Another cashflow-rich, slow-growth pharmaceutical giant. London-based Glaxo is now $37, down from $39 recently. But it’s cheap, on just 8 times forecast earnings, yielding a huge 5.6%.

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0 responses to “Ten stocks to look at in the panic”

  1. Weekend Links 4/10/2011 | The Investment Blog says:

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