First up is HSBC Holdings (HSBA). The stock sports a listed yield of 9.6% but given the past financial turmoil this may yet be optimistic. The stock has weathered the financial meltdown better than most and if it can break from what is considered a bullish consolidation (the "wedge") then it could have a good 2009. Contrarians will like the increased negativity from the broker recommendations over the past two months given it didn't cause a collapse in the share price; mean broker target is 745.85p with a median of 765.61p
Second on the list is the UK stalwart, BP. (BP.) At just over £5 a share with a 29p per share dividend it offers value buyers something to mull over. Brokers slant heavily towards the 'Buy' side but there are a couple more skeptics than there were two months ago. The chart sports a bearish pattern, but even if it was to break through the rising support line connecting the lows it may not last long there with support located nearby at 463p; mean broker target is 604.20p with a median of 600.00p
Third is Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA). After what looked to be a relatively ordely spate of selling from the summer the stock has managed to find some footing. The 5.68% yield helps in this low interest rate environment (although it only lists a 0.95% yield for UK listed shares) and with crude oil deeply discounted it looks like value buyers are taking advantage. The last upgrade/downgrade on record was by ING back in May 2008 (an upgrade to "buy"). I have made a YourCall for a push back to summer highs - if you disagree with this then we would love to have your call.
Next on the list is Vodafone (VOD). Like Shell it went through the latter part of 2008 with a measured decline and recovery, helped by the attractive 5.41% yield for buyers. Brokers remained distinctly neutral on the stock; perhaps waiting for a more volatile period before throwing their hat into the ring; mean broker target is 151.41p with a median of 160.00p
Finally there is GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Unlike its counterparts it had a relatively uneventful 2008, trading in a broad range and currently challenging the upper reaches of this range. The yield of 4.41% is still attractive at these levels and with Brokers sitting on their hands with this one too it might turn out to be the quiet performer of 2009; mean broker target is 1268p with a median of 1277.50p - given it has surpassed these targets the Broker high target is 1380p.
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Dr. Declan Fallon, Senior Market Technician, Zignals.com the free stock alerts, market alerts, and stock charts website
Broker data sourced from Yahoo! and provided to them by FactSet JCF.