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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) & Levin Capital Strategies’ +3.5% Yielders

Levin Capital Strategies was buying PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PGC) between October and December, building a relatively small position up to 2.8 million shares. Also known as Pacific Gas & Electric, the California-based utility has a dividend yield close to 4% and a beta in the same range as Verizon and Merck. We would, note, however, that the market capitalization of $21 billion places the current price at 25 times trailing earnings- high for a company in a normally low-growth sector. Billionaire David Shaw’s D.E. Shaw had 1.7 million shares of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PGC) in its portfolio (find D.E. Shaw’s favorite stocks).

According to the 13F, the fund increased its holdings of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) during the quarter to a total of 3.6 million shares. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)’s current yield is 3.5%. In the first quarter of 2013, net income grew 16% versus a year earlier although the company’s revenue was actually about flat. Wall Street analysts expect EPS to increase over the next couple years- the forward P/E is 12, as a result- but we aren’t that certain General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is a good value. Fisher Asset Management, managed by billionaire Ken Fisher, had GE as one of its ten largest holdings by market value (research more stocks Fisher owned).

E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD) rounds out our list of Levin’s high yield stocks with the filing disclosing ownership of 1.2 million shares. The chemicals company recently reported its results for the first quarter of 2013; net income increased substantially, but this was due to earnings from discontinued operations. In fact, both income from continuing operations and revenue showed little change, and so when making any projections for the next couple years we would be careful of being optimistic based on this quarter alone. Still, the company did beat earnings and the stock was up nicely on the news.

Disclosure: I own no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article.

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