Bank of America Merrill Lynch Loves These 10 Stocks for 2012

With the year coming to a close, many firms and analysts are making their predictions for 2012.  Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) strategist Savita Subramanian compiled the bank’s top stock ideas for the new year.  All companies have a “buy” rating, and are recommended due to favorable valuation, growth, quality and yield.

Listed below are the top 10 stocks for 2012:

10.  Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL):  Provides electric and natural gas services. The company offers a variety of energy-related services, including generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity and natural gas throughout the United States. Xcel utilities serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.  Shares are up over 10% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

9.  Altria (NYSE:MO):  The company, through subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products, including cigars and pipe tobacco.  Shares have gained 16.4% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

8.  Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP):  A rail transportation company. The company’s railroad hauls a variety of goods, including agricultural, automotive, and chemical products. Union Pacific offers long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways as well as connects with Canada’s rail systems and serves the major gateways to Mexico.  For the year, shares have increased almost 10%. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

7.  Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY):  Discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products for humans and animals. The company’s products are sold in countries around the world. Eli Lilly’s products include neuroscience products, endocrine products, anti-infectives, cardiovascular agents, oncology products, and animal health products.  Shares have gained 10.6% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

6.  CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS):  A multimedia company that operates broadcasting, television production, and publishing businesses. The company operates television and radio stations, produces and syndicates television programs, publishes books, provides online content as well as provides outdoor advertising.  Shares have rewarded investors heavily this year, with 35% gains. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

5.   Air Products & Chemical (NYSE:APD):  Produces industrial gas and related industrial process equipment. The company also produces and markets polymer chemicals, performance chemicals, and chemical intermediates. Air Products recovers and distributes oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, synthesis gas, and helium, as well as medical and specialty gases.  Shares have decreased 8.5% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

4.  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL):  Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers and related personal computing and mobile communication devices along with a variety of related software, services, peripherals, and networking solutions.  The company is expected to unveil the iPad 3 sometime in 2012.  Although shares have struggled recently, they have gained 21% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

3.  CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL):  An integrated communications company. The company provides a wide range of communications services, including local and long distance voice, Internet access and broadband services. CenturyLink operates throughout the United States.  Shares are down 21% for the year. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

2.  Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO):  An integrated oil firm with operations worldwide. The Company explores for and produces and markets liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas on a worldwide basis. Marathon also mines, extracts and transports bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada and refines, markets and transports crude oil and petroleum products.  Shares have slid nearly 24% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

1.  Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC):  Owns and operates wealth accumulation and protection businesses. The Company sells a wide range of products including institutional and/or retail fixed and indexed annuities, variable annuities, universal life insurance, variable universal life insurance, term life insurance, mutual funds, and managed accounts.  Shares have decreased 26% year-to-date. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>