The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. is as formidable a stock as it is a name. Freddie Mac has reported increases in net income in eight of the last nine years. And its capital base has likewise missed only one step in its upward march since 1984.

The dip in net income came in 1990, an unremarkable 5%. In the fourth quarter of that year, the shares fell as low as $10 a share.

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