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Ranking InvestorPlace’s 10 Best Stocks for 2012 Through Q2

See how our picks have panned out for the first half of the year

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No. 1: Capital One

Capital OneQ2 Return: -2%
YTD Return:
Philip van Doorn

Philip Van Doorn’s pick — financial stock Capital One (NYSE:COF) — takes over the top spot after six months of trading.

What’s the trick? Well, to start, contributor Philip van Doorn was right when he said not only that financials weren’t looking all that bad, but that smaller banks like Capital One were ready to soar. Financials indeed were the top-performing sector in Q1 2012 and Capital One notched 32% gains in the quarter.

The company then was busy with acquisitions in the second quarter, buying ING Group‘s (NYSE:ING) ING Direct for roughly $9 billion and HSBC‘s (NYSE:HBC) roughly $30 billion U.S. credit card portfolio for a premium of $2.6 billion. The expected mess because of those moves sent shares spiraling in June, but they picked up to give COF shares a slight loss for the quarter and maintain a 30% gain year-to-date.

Plus, the acquisitions should raise the company’s earnings bar in the future, so don’t be surprised if Capital One remains No. 1 for the rest of the year.

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