No. 3: Microsoft
Return as of 3/30: +24.3%
Investor: James Altucher
Two times might the charm for James Altucher’s pick of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which he picked for our 2011 contest, then felt just as confident in 52 weeks later.
If the first quarter is any indication, he’ll have plenty more to celebrate than 2011′s 7% losses for MFST. Microsoft, up 25%, was the third-best-performing Dow Jones stock this year, behind JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).
One of James’ original reasons for liking Microsoft — its valuation — is a bit plumper, thanks to the run-up. But the company’s stock buybacks remain in play, and MSFT still is sitting on a big pile of cash.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is seeing continued success with its Xbox 360 console and the expanding possibilities of its Kinect motion sensor. The company also has plenty of potential in the video conferencing and VoIP company Skype — and it’s now testing Skype Beta on smartphones using the Windows 7.5 operating system, also known as “Mango.”
Microsoft might have difficulties should it and the rest of the tech sector cool off after its red-hot first quarter, but the long-term attractiveness of its 2.5% dividend yield should help keep at least a few investors interested.