Top Stocks October 2013

[ January 5, 2013 | Author: admin | Weather: | Mood: normal]

William Blair’s financial stock picks for 2011 were a disaster, trailing the broader market by a wide margin, as the industry suffocated under tighter regulations and lower interest rates.

But the Chicago-based investment bank, which manages more than $45 billion in assets, is looking to recover in 2012 with financial stocks like MasterCard(MA), which has soared 66% this year, and Aon Corp.(AON), up 13%.

William Blair every year offers the top stock picks from individual sectors. In 2011, the firm’s selections in the financial sector had the worst performance, falling 25% from Nov. 26, 2010, through Nov. 25, 2011. That compares to a slide of 18.7% on the S&P 500 Financials Index.

William Blair analysts last year highlighted five stocks in the financial sector, four of which were big losers. Morgan Stanley(MS) and Och-Ziff Capital Management(OZM) each dropped 46%, Evercore Partners(EVR) slumped 22%, and Affiliated Managers(AMG) fell 8%. Only Interc ontinentalExchange(ICE) made investors money.

Given the dismal performance in the financial sector over the past year, why should investors come back to William Blair for more? For one, the firm is looking more closely at financial technology and specialty finance, which is much different than the big, beleaguered banks.

"Leading financial-services providers to the 2.5 billion underbanked consumers as well as the growing number of unhappily banked consumers should drive strong growth," William Blair analyst Adam Klauber wrote in a research note Tuesday. "New technologies and services such as online lending and prepaid cards are examples."

William Blair isn’t the only investment banking firm out with a list of favorite financial stocks. Earlier this week, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts posted their top stock picks for 2012, selecting Lincoln National(LNC) as the best stock idea from the financial sector.

Klauber and Will iam Blair’s team of financial analysts see opportunities in other names, saying companies with high barriers to entry, long-term secular growth, international exposure, and visible operating leverage should remain core holdings for investors. The analysts have selected seven financial stocks that they’re banking on in 2012, which are outlined below and on the following pages.

Top Stocks October 2013:Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR)

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in the identification, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury (SCI), and other central nervous system disorders primarily in the United States. Its marketed products include Ampyra (dalfampridine), a potassium channel blocker for improving walking in patients with MS; and Zanaflex Capsules and Zanaflex tablets (tizanidine hydrochloride), a short-acting drug for the management of spasticity. The company also markets products for the improvement of walking in adult patients with MS with walking disability under the Fampyra name internationally. Its lead research and development programs include three biologic therapeutic approaches for restoring neurologic and cardiac function, which comprise Neuregulin Program for developing Glial Growth Factor 2, a molecule in the Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of heart failure; Remyelina ting Antibodies Program for developing rHIgM22, an antibody in the preclinical stage for treating MS; and Chondroitinase Program, a research stage program focused on developing chontroitinase as a therapeutic to break down inhibitory factors in the scar tissue that develops as a result of an injury to the CNS. In addition, the company has in-licensed a clinical-stage program, AC105, to develop an acute treatment for neurological trauma. It has collaboration agreement with Biogen Idec International GmbH to develop and commercialize products containing aminopyridines to the treatment of MS. Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in 1995 and is headquartered in Hawthorne, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • By Kevin M. O’Brien

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) will reach $500.00/share at some point in 2012. I view Apple as trading at an extreme discount right now. I am expecting to see a run-up in price ahead of the company’s next earnings call on January 17, 2012. I am also expecting that this earnings release is going to be absolutely fantastic. It would be a wise choice to block out all the negative rumors and sentiment surrounding Apple right now. This is a stock that is so attractively priced right now that it will not stay at this level for very long. Check back with me after January 17th next year.

  • By Andrew

    I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think.  We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good.  People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market.  Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool.  That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base.  Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure.  Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment.  Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck.  Apple users proudly pay the big premium.  That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall S treet.  They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time.  They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash.  I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012.  Very strong buy.

  • By Michael

    This is another technology stock with great potential.  With each new release of an iPhone or iPad device, the stock continues to climb.  They have the “wow” factor down and I don’t see this changing any time soon.  Their new server farm in Charlotte, NC just went online as iCloud.  I think this is going to make a huge long term difference.  But in the short term, you have very regular releases of new versions of their flashy devices.  As long as they keep that up, the stock will continue to rise.  Although Steve Jobs is no longer here with us, he probably left a road map for Apple to fol low for the next 3-5 years.  The question will be whether Tim Cook will be able to execute on those plans.

Top Stocks October 2013:STERIS Corporation (STE)

STERIS Corporation and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture, and sell infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical support products and services for healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial, and governmental customers worldwide. It provides steam, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, and ethylene oxide sterilizers; liquid chemical sterilant processing systems; washer/disinfector systems; general and specialty surgical tables; surgical and examination lights; equipment management systems; operating room storage cabinets; warming cabinets; scrub sinks; and other products and accessories. The company also offers connectivity solutions, such as operating room integration, workflow, patient tracking, and instrument management that allow transfer of information and images; cleaning chemistries and sterility assurance products; cleansing products, including hard surface disinfectants, and skin care and hand hygiene solutions; high-pu rity water equipment; vaporized hydrogen peroxide generators. In addition, it sells contract materials processing services using gamma irradiation and ethylene oxide technologies, as well as offers microbial reduction services based on customer specifications. Further, the company provides maintenance programs and repair services, sterilization and surgical management consulting services, information management and decision support services, and other support services, such as construction and facility planning, engineering support, device testing, customer education, hand hygiene process excellence, asset management/planning, and the sale of replacement parts. STERIS Corporation sells its products to end users, dealers, and distributors through direct field sales and service representatives. The company was formerly known as Innovative Medical Technologies and changed its name to STERIS Corporation in 1987. STERIS Corporation was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Men t or, Ohio.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • By Smith

    Temporarily becoming the most valuable company in the world last week, Apple has not been hurt very much by the recent bear market. In fact, for a great read about Apple’s story, consider taking a look at this article. With household names like iPad and iPhone, we all know that Apple is valuable … but the question is how valuable?Answering a question like that isn’t easy, but we believe the answer is up – way up. In fact, when compared to Google (GOOG)’s valuation metrics, this isn’t even that unreasonable. Apple’s price to earnings, price/earnings to growth, and price to sales ratios are 14.91, 0.61, and 3.45 respectively. Google’s numbers in these same categories are 20.34, 0.84, and 5.45 – all much higher. While competitors like Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Research in Motion (RIMM) may be a bargain for those hunting sub-8 price to earnings ratios, AAPL is still a good place to be. Th e most recent news affecting Apple has been Steve Jobs’s crazy new plans for company headquarters, but needless to say this will not have a huge impact on AAPL stock price. What will though is whether the company can keep up its knack for fresh technology that consumers love. While some may call this blind faith, we see it as an investment opportunity.The best time to buy AAPL stock is before their next biggest thing is announced – and that time is right now.

  • By Kevin M. O’Brien

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) will reach $500.00/share at some point in 2012. I view Apple as trading at an extreme discount right now. I am expecting to see a run-up in price ahead of the company’s next earnings call on January 17, 2012. I am also expecting that this earnings release is going to be absolutely fantastic. It would be a wise choice to block out all the negative rumors and sentiment surrounding Apple right now. This is a stock that is so attractively priced right now that it will not stay at this level for very long. Check back with me after January 17th next year.

  • By Andrew

    I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think.  We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good.  People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market.  Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool.  That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base.  Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure.  Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment.  Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck.  Apple users proudly pay the big premium.  That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall S treet.  They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time.  They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash.  I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012.  Very strong buy.

Top Stocks October 2013:Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. It operates through three lines of businesses: Machinery, Engines, and Financial Products. The Machinery business offers construction, mining, and forestry machinery, including track and wheel tractors, track and wheel loaders, pipelayers, motor graders, wheel tractor-scrapers, track and wheel excavators, backhoe loaders, log skidders, log loaders, off-highway trucks, articulated trucks, paving products, skid steer loaders, underground mining equipment, tunnel boring equipment, and related parts. It also manufactures diesel-electric locomotives; and manufactures and services rail-related products and logistics services for other companies. The Engines business provides diesel, heavy fuel, and natural gas reciprocating engines for Caterpillar machinery, electric power generation systems, marine, petrol eum, construction, industrial, agricultural, and other applications. It offers industrial turbines and turbine-related services for oil and gas, and power generation applications. This business also remanufactures Caterpillar engines, machines, and engine components; and offers remanufacturing services for other companies. The Financial Products business provides retail and wholesale financing alternatives for Caterpillar machinery and engines, solar gas turbines, and other equipment and marine vessels, as well as offers loans and various forms of insurance to customers and dealers. It also offers financing for vehicles, power generation facilities, and marine vessels. The company markets its products directly, as well as through its distribution centers, dealers, and distributors. It was formerly known as Caterpillar Tractor Co. and changed its name to Caterpillar Inc. in 1986. Caterpillar Inc. was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • By Scott Rothbort

    Apple(AAPL), which I included on my previous list of low-PEG stocks, remains one of the cheapest stocks around. The stock has still managed to increase in value over 16% this year, despite falling 12% since reaching an all-time high in October.

    The iPhone 4S is a huge success. In 2012, the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are likely to get introduced. The company’s computers continue to grab market share away from Windows-based systems. The December quarter is expected to be the company’s best ever. Earnings are expected to grow by 25% in 2011 and 12% in 2012. Yet the stock trades at just under 10 times 2012 earnings.

    Apple’s raw beta is 0.77

    Apple shows up on recent lists of 5 Gadget Stocks for the Holidays and 9 Top Goldman Sachs Stocks for 2012.

  • By ANDREW

    I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think.  We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good.  People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market.  Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool.  That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base.  Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure.  Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment.  Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck.  Apple users proudly pay the big premium.  That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall S treet.  They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time.  They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash.  I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012.  Very strong buy.

  • By Andrew

    I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think.  We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good.  People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market.  Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool.  That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base.  Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure.  Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment.  Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck.  Apple users proudly pay the big premium.  That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall S treet.  They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time.  They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash.  I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012.  Very strong buy.

Top Stocks October 2013:Champion Industries Inc. (CHMP)

Champion Industries, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a commercial printer, business forms manufacturer, and office products and office furniture supplier in regional markets east of the Mississippi river in the United States. The company is involved in printing business cards, letterheads, and envelopes, as well as one, two, or three color brochures; process color manufacturing brochures, posters, advertising sheets, and catalogues; die cutting and foil stamping; forms printing of roll-to-roll computer forms, checks, invoices, and purchase orders, as well as forms in single-part, multi-part, continuous, and snap-out formats; tag and label manufacturing; and Web printing of brochures and catalogs. It also provides bindery services, including trimming, collating, folding, and stitching of the final product; and output solutions, such as print on demand, inserting, and mailing services. In addition, the company offers supplies, such as file folders, paper pr oducts, pens and pencils, computer paper and laser cartridges; furniture, including budget and middle price range desks, chairs, file cabinets, and computer furniture; and design services, such as space planning, purchasing and installation of office furniture, and management of design projects. Further, it publishes The Herald-Dispatch, a daily newspaper in Huntington, West Virginia; the Putnam Herald in Putnam County, West Virginia; and the Lawrence Herald in Lawrence County, Ohio. The company offers its products through sales force, wholesalers’ national catalogs, and Internet to manufacturers, institutions, financial services companies, and professional firms. Champion Industries, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • By Kevin M. O’Brien

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) will reach $500.00/share at some point in 2012. I view Apple as trading at an extreme discount right now. I am expecting to see a run-up in price ahead of the company’s next earnings call on January 17, 2012. I am also expecting that this earnings release is going to be absolutely fantastic. It would be a wise choice to block out all the negative rumors and sentiment surrounding Apple right now. This is a stock that is so attractively priced right now that it will not stay at this level for very long. Check back with me after January 17th next year.

  • By ANDREW

    I am a huge believer in Apple’s brand internationally and I think they still have more room to grow than people think.  We all know the Iphone 5 is coming out and I think the sales will be insanely good.  People buy these products not only because they are great, but because they are the only fashionable computer item on the market.  Many people have no problem at all paying the large premium for Apple’s stuff just to look cool.  That’s not the reason everyone does it but it’s a reason that all the challenger companies won’t be able to touch a large % of Apple’s core user base.  Apple is in a league of their own and will stay that way for the foreseeable fut ure.  Any Apple naysayer makes very weak arguments against the investment.  Some people buy computers to get the most bang for their buck.  Apple users proudly pay the big premium.  That’s why they keep beating expectations on Wall S treet.  They don’t pay a dividend but certainly could at any time.  They are a cash cow already sitting on a mountain of cash.  I can see the company going over $500 before the end of 2012.  Very strong buy.

  • By Jonas

    It seems everyone is abuzz with Apple these days. They have a good product, lots of vision, and decent value in share price. But why would I buy this on a market pullback? Apple trades close to the S&P 500 (SPY) as well it should since Apple makes up a huge part of the S&P 500 market cap. However, shares of Apple have higher relative strength than the market. This means that while Apple shares will surely fall with the price during a pullback, they will also rebound quicker and rise farther with the next leg up.

    If the market pulls back, I’d wait for the 1,365 – 1,370 level to be hit and then grab some shares of Apple.

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