Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund

The Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund I (MDDVX), formerly known as the ML Equity Dividend Fund, seeks current income and long-term total return, primarily by investing in an equity securities portfolio, putting its focus on issuers with good capital appreciation prospects. Normally, it invests a minimal 80% of assets in securities paying dividends. The remaining holdings may include non-convertible preferred stock and convertible securities, with about 16.29% in foreign stocks.

Started on November 25, 1987 (with Investor A class shares first offered on October 21, 1994), the Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund, is a large value fund with a total market cap ranging around $10.3 billion. It has a 5-star Morningstar rating with a low to average Morningstar risk rating within category. It has a Lipper Classification of an Equity Income Fund, and a 2.28% SEC yield and dividends paid quarterly.

Among the top holdings in the Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund are ExxonMobil Corporation, BHP Billiton Limited, AT&T Inc Communication, Churchill Ventures Ltd, J.P. Morgan Chase, Rio Tinto ADR, Total SA ADR, General Electric, Deere & Company, Raytheon Company, Chevron Corporation, Wells Fargo Company, Caterpillar Inc, United Technologies, and El Dupont de Nemours.

In terms of sector weightings, the Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund holds about 14.9% of its assets in industrial cyclicals, followed by about 14.3% in consumer staples, 14.1% in energy, 13.8% in financials, 10% in materials, 7.6% in utilities, 6.0% in telecommunication services, 5.0% in healthcare, 4.8% in consumer discretionary, 4.1% in information technology, and 5.4% in cash and cash equivalents.

The expense ratio of the Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund is 1.08% which is in the average range for its category. Initial maximum sales fees are 5.25% with a minimum initial investment of $1,000, an initial IRA or AIP investment of $50, and minimum subsequent investments of $50.

As of September 2010, the fund has returns of 5.2% over the past 10 years, 2.8% over the past 5 years, -5.7% over the past 3 years, and 10.5% over the past year, with a year-to-date trailing return of 3.5%.
The Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund is managed by Robert M. Shearer and Kathleen Anderson, and is open to new investors.

The above information regards Investor A class shares, although Investor B (MBDVX), Investor C (MCDVX), Class R (MRDVX), Institutional (MADVX), and Service class shares of the Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund are also available.