No. 10: Hershey
Current Return: -2%
Investor: Jon Markman
The lone decliner on the list of 10 Best stocks, don’t count Hershey (NYSE:HSY) out just yet. Jon Markman’s original recommendation of the confectioner pointed out a rather bearish outlook for the broader market in 2012, and strength in Hershey based on its low-risk potential.
“Hershey is a best-of-breed operator that deserves and gets a premium valuation. Even in a tough environment, it could appreciate by 10% or more,” Jon wrote.
The trouble is that after a 31% run in 2011, as investors took shelter in Hershey’s low-risk appeal and decent dividend, Wall Street now is looking for growth. Defensive plays like consumer staples and utilities stocks have lagged the market so far.
But if things get rocky, the low-risk appeal could cause this top stock to rise in a hurry.