AT&T (T) has traded at a 52 week low of 27.27 and a 52 week high of 31.94 with a beta of 0.48. Despite the awful summer we had in 2011 it held on pretty tight and did not drop as hard as other stocks. With that said it currently pays a dividend of 5.80% and trades at 30.87 it also showed improved revenue compared to a year ago. Moving forward it is expected to show growth above 5% in the next five years according to analysts.
Verizon (VZ) has traded at a 52 week low of 32.28 and a 52 week high of 40.48 it currently trades at 38.67. Verizon has a beta of 0.41 it had a large move after the August drop last year to move up from 33 to 40 in 5 months. Looking at option contracts buyers believe it will move above 40 and remain there for the rest of the year.
Merck & Company Inc (MRK) is paying a dividend of 4.40% and has traded between 29.47 - 39.43 over the past year. Most of that ground was covered from August 2011 - January 2012 when the stock rallied quite nicely. The company will not cut down on R&D while other pharmaceutical companies will cut down this year. Finding new drugs to replace the expiring ones has put a stump on its price which has hovered at about 38 for the last few weeks.
Pfizer (PFE) pays a dividend of 4.20% at a price of 21.41 which is a pretty good deal to get a piece of the Dow. The stock appears fairly cheap although the company plans to cut some of its R&D. Currently the company has plenty of projects in Phase III clinical trials and it does not have a huge exposure to Europe that is why the European crisis has not moved the stock much. A few of Pfizer's drug patents expired in 2011. Lipitor was one of them and some others will expire in the U.S. in 2012.
General Electric (GE) currently trades at 18.97 its dividend at 3.60%. The company has gone on quite a ride because it mirrors the economy and now it also reflects the world. Going forward it appears it is situated for long term success but it still can be a bumpy ride. It is expected GE Capital will start paying dividends possibly in the middle of the year. It is the cheapest stock of this bunch yet it is a long term investment this is not a get rich quick stock.