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Financials : Banks | Large Cap Value
Company profile

Bank of America Corporation is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company is a financial institution, serving individual consumers and others with a range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The Company, through its banking and various non-bank subsidiaries, throughout the United States and in international markets, provides a range of banking and non-bank financial services and products through four business segments: Consumer Banking, which comprises Deposits and Consumer Lending; Global Wealth & Investment Management, which consists of two primary businesses: Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Global Banking, which provides a range of lending-related products and services; Global Markets, which offers sales and trading services, and All Other, which consists of equity investments, residual expense allocations and other.


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UPDATE: These are the five most financially sound companies amid a cash crunch

9:47 am ET March 14, 2020 (MarketWatch)

By Jeff Reeves, MarketWatch

Jeff Reeves lists stocks that should be relatively safe as business conditions threaten some companies with bankruptcy

I went to lunch in downtown Washington, D.C., the other day, and only three tables out of three dozen were occupied. Then I went for coffee nearby and commented to the barista sanitizing everything, and she just shrugged at the empty cafe and said, "Nothing else to do today."

That afternoon was a stark example of why the S&P 500 continues to log big declines on a regular basis. It's simple math -- add up a perishable food inventory, steep rents and zero customers ... and the sum is a real bankruptcy risk for businesses.

We've seen this movie before amid the cash crunch of the 2008 financial crisis. And we're seeing glimmers of a sequel already in Italy (, where the disease has peaked earlier than in the U.S. and other areas of Europe. Companies like Boeing (BA) have been brutalized, and as they max out lines of credit (, we're in the middle of a junk-bond breakdown (

In a raging bull market, cheap debt and creditworthiness didn't matter. But now it matters more than ever. And here are five potential safe-haven stocks that have manageable debt, strong cash flow and reliable revenue that will keep them stable during this looming credit crisis.


One of the few stocks sitting on a positive return year-to-date, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) investors should not see this stock as a safe haven because it is reportedly working on a treatment for coronavirus.

More important, REGN has zero debt and a cash hoard of more than $3 billion to keep things running if times get tough. And based on current operations, Regeneron also generates $2.5 billion in annual net cash flow from operations, thanks to a suite of popular treatments for conditions ranging from dermatitis to asthma to chronic eye diseases. That makes Regeneron as stable a business as you'll find on Wall Street, with or without progress on a coronavirus treatment.


Once upon a time, there were a bunch of companies with AAA-rated debt. Now there are two -- one of which is Microsoft (MSFT).

It's easy to see why, as the company boasted $134 billion in cash and investments at the end of 2019, with $79 billion in debt. That may sound like a big amount; a massive offering in 2017 raised $17 billion in a single day ( However, even if you throw that cash stockpile out the window, MSFT has more than $50 billion in annual net cash flow and one of the widest moats in enterprise software.

Thanks to a focus on subscription-based software, including collaborative cloud-based tools, such as Teams and Office 365, Microsoft will have more than enough business to cover its comparatively modest loans.

Johnson & Johnson

The other AAA-rated company is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The health-care giant has a big cushion of $19 billion in cash and investments and net operating cash flow of $23 billion annually to more than offset its $27 billion in debt.

And while JNJ may not have quite the same potential around coronavirus-related business as firms racing to develop vaccines or treatments, what it does have is an incredibly reliable suite of health-care products. These range from Band-Aids to Tylenol to Acuvue contact-lens solution, which will remain in demand regardless of "social distancing" or a recession, supporting consistent cash flow.

Intuitive Surgical

Sticking with health care, robotic surgery leader Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) may not be a mega-cap stock but has a feature even MSFT and JNJ can't boast -- zero long-term debt. On top of that, ISRG is sitting on $3 billion in cash and investments.

The icing on the cake is that Intuitive Surgical doesn't only sell high-priced devices but also maintains and services them with substantial long-term contracts. So while hospitals certainly have their hands full right now and won't be taking sales calls, regular net cash flow of $1 billion-plus annually will keep Intuitive Surgical stable in 2020 and beyond.

F5 Networks

Back to tech, F5 Networks (FFIV) is a stock worth a look for similar reasons. It has zero debt and roughly $1 billion in cash on hand and just shy of $1 billion in annual net cash flow.

As a tech infrastructure provider, F5 helps maintain and optimize networks and allow for remote access of files -- a business that is assuredly in high demand as many workers are forced to work from home. And if you're worried these numbers sound small, remember FFIV has a market value of about $6 billion, so it's a bit unfair to compare it to the $1 trillion Microsoft.

Don't miss:These strong dividend payers sank with the stock market -- and now their yields have shot up (

Jeff Reeves is a MarketWatch columnist.

-Jeff Reeves; 415-439-6400;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 14, 2020 09:47 ET (13:47 GMT)

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