STOCKS

There's no reason to get fancy when picking income stocks. Some great blue-chip names are well priced and will deliver year after year, notes Richard Lehmann in Income Securities Investor.

AT&T (T) is a communications holding company. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, they are the leading US provider of local and long distance voice services, manage the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network (based on branded and operated sites) with nearly 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots—including locations in all 50 states—and operate the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with the largest international coverage of any US wireless carrier.

Their service offers voice coverage in more than 225 countries, data roaming in more than 205 countries, and mobile broadband in more than 145 countries.

AT&T is the only US national service provider to offer a 100% IP-based television service with AT&T U-verse TV. They recently launched the first integrated Wireless Receiver, which lets customers move and watch their TV virtually anywhere in the home.

For the third quarter of 2012, the company reported revenue of $31.46 billion with net income of $3.64 billion. AT&T posted revenues for the same period in 2011 of $31.5 billion and net income of $3.62 billion. The high dividend on this stock appears safe, thus making it a good choice for all risk levels.

Altria Group (MO)
This is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, US Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton, and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria also owns Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and has a 27% interest in SABMiller (London: SAB), one of the world’s largest brewers.

The company has approximately half of the US cigarette market, led by Marlboro. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates owns vineyards in Woodinville, Paterson, Benton City, Prosser, and Walla Walla, Washington; Dundee, Oregon; and St. Helena and Napa, California. Philip Morris Capital Corporation is an investment company that manages a portfolio of leased assets including domestic and international aircraft, power plants, and real estate.

Third-quarter revenues for Altria were $4.47 billion, slightly ahead of the $4.33 billion posted in 2011. Net income was $657 million versus $1.17 billion the previous year. This diversified stock would fit into a low-risk income portfolio.

Senior Housing Properties Trust (SNH)
This real estate investment trust, or REIT, owns senior independent living and assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, wellness centers, and medical office, clinic, and biotech laboratory buildings located in 40 states. The majority of their 384 properties are leased to unaffiliated tenants.

For the third quarter of 2012, Senior Housing Properties reported revenue of $158.63 million, well above the $113.7 million reported for the same period in 2011. Net income for the third quarter was $25.65 million, versus $30 million for the same quarter in 2011. Funds from Operation (FFO) improved in the quarter from $59.29 to $61.63.

Note: In order to qualify to be a REIT, a company must distribute annually at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. This is a good security for a low to medium-risk growth and income portfolio.

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Tickers Mentioned: T, MO, SNH

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