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AllianceBernstein L.P. is an investment advisory and hedge fund firm managing ~$150 bn in equity assets. The firm is a subsidiary of AXA S.A., which holds 64.7% stake in AB and 34.6% in AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. The firm manages AllianceBernstein series of mutual funds in addition to other funds and caters to individuals and institutions.

Investment Strategy: AllianceBernstein L.P. offers growth, value and blend investment styles, managing domestic and global portfolios. The firm invests across all market-caps. The investment process is generally driven by fundamental company research and quantitative analysis. For the growth strategy, AllianceBernstein evaluates both current and forecasted investment opportunities and conditions to identify companies with unanticipated growth prospects. Investments are primarily made in mid- and large-cap businesses.

The following is a list of its top buys in the last quarter, as released in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC.

Stock

Symbol

Shares Held - 03/31/2011

Shares Held - 06/30/2011

Wellpoint Inc.

WLP

6802008

13847715

AT&T, Inc.

T

35402353

52406002

Conocophillips

COP

12827804

18945958

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

APC

994434

6578318

Tyson Foods Inc

TSN

2629140

21047275

Unitedhealth Group, Inc.

UNH

7673916

14003903

Monsanto Co.

MON

8943562

12695882

My favourite among the above stocks is Monsanto (NYSE:MON). Monsanto is a good buy in current uncertain environment, given the defensive nature of seeds, prospects for double-digit earnings growth and a reasonable valuation. Monsanto is trading at 20x FY12 (Aug) EPS and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. I see limited downside risk to earnings given growth prospects in biotech seeds and low sensitivity to the economic cycle. Also I am quite bullish on the commodity prices given the excess amount of money supply which has entered the system thanks to bailouts, quantitative easing and stimulus. In particular, when we talk of food grains where demand is inelastic, the trend is likely headed up in the mid-long term even if we consider a prolonged recession scenario. This translates to higher farm income and improved value proposition for Monsanto’s grower customers, which should support price/mix.

For other stocks in the above list, here are some of the specifics about these companies, including a brief description of their businesses, growth expectations (top line and bottom line):

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) is a health benefits company in terms of medical membership in the United States. It offers a spectrum of managed care plans, which include preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations, point-of-service plans, traditional indemnity plans and other hybrid plans, including consumer-driven health plans, and hospital only and limited benefit products. UnitedHealth's EPS forecast for the current year is $7.04 and next year is $7.70. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 3.40% in the current year and 4.30% next year.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and worldwide. These include wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, managed networking, wholesale services and directory advertising and publishing. AT&T's EPS forecast for the current year is $2.38 and next year is $2.55. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 1.50% in the current year and 1.20% next year.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is an international, integrated energy company. The Company operates in six segments: Exploration and Production, Midstream, Refining and Marketing, LUKOIL Investment, Chemicals, and Emerging Businesses. ConocoPhillips' EPS forecast for the current year is $8.33 and next year is $8.86. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 21.40% in the current year and 9.00% next year.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company. Anadarko's EPS forecast for the current year is $3.52 and next year is $4.41. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 25.50% in the current year and 13.90% next year.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) is a meat protein and food production company. It produces, distributes and markets chicken, beef, pork, prepared foods and related allied products. Its operations are conducted in four segments: Chicken, Beef, Pork and Prepared Foods. Tyson's EPS forecast for the current year is $1.97 and next year is $1.99. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 12.30% in the current year and 4.50% next year.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company. The Company operates in four segments: Health Benefits; OptumHealth; Ingenix, and Prescription Solutions. United Health's EPS forecast for the current year is $4.35 and next year is $4.78. According to consensus estimates, its top line is expected to grow 7.70% in the current year and 6.70% next year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: AllianceBernstein's Top Buys