As we enter December, we think of Christmas and the excitement of seeing friends and family. From a financial point of view, most companies experience their most important and busiest time of year and quarter with the most sales. It also means mutual funds will be selling out of favor stocks and buying new ones, to make their portfolios look good for the new year.
For me, this time of year also means beginning to research stocks for my annual Top Ten Stock Picks article that will be published here in a month. I began doing the list in 2009 and have had great success so far with my picks. When I checked in after six months on 2011, it appeared I was headed for my first losing year. Let’s take a look to see where the stocks stand with a month to go.
The results from previous years were a lot better in 2009 (Results) and 2010 (Results) than the current 2011 period we are in. In 2009, my picks were up an average of 99.9%-- with all ten being winners on the year. The following year 2010 brought 8 winners, and 2 losers. In 2010, I also included a honorable mention list of which five were up and one was down for the entire year. The 2010 top ten picks were up an average of 32.9%.
The original article with my Top Ten Stock Picks for 2011 can be found here.
Mid Year: $14.18 (-1%)
What I Said in January: Great green play, small cap company has plenty of room to run this year and in the future.
Current: Shares have lost almost a quarter of their value over the last eleven months. The company still has a huge backlog of projects for corporations, schools, and government projects. I am still backing this company and think that shares are due for a run.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
Mid Year: $10.96 plus $0.02 in dividends $10.98 adjusted (-18%)
Current: $5.44 plus $0.03 in dividends $5.47 adjusted
What I Said in January: Trades close to a fifty two week low.
Current: My biggest loser of the year so far. The financial sector is a tough place to be right now, and while BAC shares and other banks look tempting to get in on the bottom floor, I would have to pass on shares right now. For the sake of my top ten lists, I’m hoping the shares will get up to $7 by the end of the year. Nevertheless, I will not be holding my breath.
Case New Holland (NYSE:CNH)
Mid Year: $38.65 (-19%)
What I Said in January: Stock should rise to $60 by the end of the year.
Current: Has traded flat from mid year until now. During that time shares actually dipped below $25 and are now on a incline headed back up to $40. It appears that shares could come close to breaking even by the end of the year. I stick behind this pick and think it is a great play on emerging markets and the agriculture boom coming as the world’s population grows. Shares are dirt cheap right now at under $40, and should be picked up at this price.
Mid Year: $15.61 plus $0.06 in dividends $15.67 adjusted (-23%)
Current: $18.64 plus $0.18 in dividends $18.82 adjusted
What I Said in January: At these levels I have to recommend the stock and think it should hit $28 to $30 by the end of the year.
Current: Cisco shares have had a nice gain since we checked in on them mid-year. The shares still trade at less than ten times next years’ projected earnings. Cisco began paying its first quarterly dividend back in March of this year, which represents a current yield of 1.3%. Shares are worth buying at below $20.
Mid Year: $18.15 plus $0.10 in dividends $18.25 adjusted (-6%)
Current: $13.27 plus $0.225 in dividends $13.50 adjusted
What I Said in January: With Gorilla Glass, it continues to expand rapidly through the mobile phone and tablet markets.
Current: Shares of glass maker Corning have fallen due to lower forecasted sales numbers. The company recently cut its Gorilla Glass forecasted fourth quarter numbers due to lowered penetration in television markets and a voided contract with a South Korean company. Rumors have come about that Gorilla Glass will be used in the newest Amazon Fire but it is still unknown. Shares currently trade close to a fifty two week low and are yielding 2.3%. Shares are a great buy at this level.
Dreamworks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA)
Mid Year: $20.10 (-32%)
What I Said in January: Trading close to a fifty two week low, look to buy under $30.
Current: Dreamworks Animation’s contract with Paramount to distribute its films is coming to an end. The company has several options-- including renewing with Paramount, signing with a new distributor, or creating its own distribution arm. The shares are beaten down due to this and poor box office results. I didn’t think shares could get past their fifty two week low at the start of the year, but they have created a new low. I am a skeptical buyer of shares at this price and considering the uncertainty surrounding distribution.
EMC Corporation (EMC)
Mid Year: $27.55 (20%)
What I Said in January: The company trades at a cheap level on its own and investors are getting its stake in VMWare (NYSE:VMW) for next to nothing. My favorite tech play for 2011.
Current: EMC is still a leader in the technology field and has been a great pick for the year and long term. Shares should hit $25 by the end of the year.
Hhgregg inc. (NYSE:HGG)
Mid Year: $13.40 (-36%)
What I Said in January: 2011 plans to open 40 to 45 stores, could replace vacancy left by Circuit City and start taking market share from Best Buy (NYSE:BBY).
Current: Shares have rebounded slightly from their mid-year levels but are unlikely to hit the beginning $21 a share amount in a month’s span. I have to pull back on my recommendation of this company. Black Friday sales represent razor thin margins as electronics retailers compete for shoppers dollars. The company’s expansion is great but unfortunately it is entering a competitive dying market.
Mid Year: $51.23 plus$0.30 in dividends $51.53 adjusted (35%)
Current: $67.85 plus $0.60 in dividends $68.45 adjusted
What I Said in January: Opening 29th location in Colombia, continues to beat analyst’s earnings estimates.
Current: My biggest winner so far on the year shows how International picks can help any portfolio. The company continues to grow through existing locations and new ones as well. This company is worth putting on your investing radar. I would buy shares on any dips. Shares could actually complete a double by the end of the year.
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)
Mid Year: $2.19 (34%)
What I Said in January: Signed contract with Howard Stern and the NFL, starting to pay off debt, accumulate shares under $1.75.
Current: The only top ten stock for the year that I am invested in. I have remained a shareholder for the entire year and chose not to sell when shares approached $2.50. I think the company will see a nice run up over the holidays and could be in for big gains in 2012. Anything under $2 is a great buying opportunity right now.
Mid Year: $73.93 plus $0.84 in dividends $74.77 adjusted (15%)
Current: $68.69 plus $1.68 in dividends $70.57 adjusted
What I Said in January: 2011 Rebound to $75.
Mid Year: $63.93 plus $0.375 in dividends $64.31 adjusted (16%)
Current: $62.59 plus $0.825 in dividends $63.415 adjusted
What I Said in January: Opening new stores and expanding in China.
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)
Mid Year: $40.96 (-2%)
What I said in January: Creation of Oprah Winfrey Network could increase advertising revenue.
Fortune Brands (FO)
Mid Year: $63.77 plus $0.38 in dividends $64.15 adjusted (6%)
Current: FBHS $16.68, BEAM $52.52 plus $0.76 in dividends $69.69 adjusted
What I Said in January: Splitting the company, Jim Beam division buyout target.
Live Person (NASDAQ:LPSN)
Mid Year: $14.14 (25%)
What I Said in January: Support retailers on websites, rival was bought out by Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).
Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG)
Mid Year: $27.53 (7%)
What I Said in January: Team playing well, could acquire Carmello Anthony, and could make playoffs.
Smart Technologies (NASDAQ:SMT)
Mid Year: $5.70 (-40%)
What I Said in January: Stock near fifty two week low.
At mid-year I was down 46% for the top ten picks for an average of -4.6% per pick. At that point there were three winners, six losers, and one essential flat pick. I also re-recommended shares of Dreamworks and Smart Technology as my favorite mid-year rebound possibilities. It seems that the last five months have been just as hard on the ten stocks I selected. I am now down 100% overall for an average of -10% per pick. Over 11 months, 7 stocks are down, 1 is flat, and two were trading up. The honorable mention stocks, on the other hand, were a lot better recommendations to my viewers. Six of the stocks were up and only one was down. Unfortunately the one that was down dragged the whole group down. The honorable mention stocks are up 12% overall for an average gain of 2%.
I have updated the top ten list with suggestions for the end of the year, and next year for some. The honorable mentions I did not give guidance on. It seems that this year will put an end to the amazing results I saw in 2009 and 2010 as I raced ahead of the broad market. Some streaks-- even though this one was small-- must come to an end and start anew. I am hoping that my readers will take these picks, and do their own research to understand buying opportunities. I look forward to presenting you with my top ten picks for 2012 in less than a month’s time.
Ameresco $11.18 BUY
Bank of America $5.44 SELL
Case New Holland $39.72 BUY
Cisco $18.64 BUY
Corning $13.27 BUY
Dreamworks Animation $18.57 HOLD
EMC Corporation $23.01 BUY
Hhgregg inc. $15.84 SELL
PriceSmart $67.85 BUY
Sirius Radio $1.80 BUY
Disclosure: I am long SIRI.