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10 Best Stocks for 2012: The Results Are In

Find out how our experts' picks fared in last year's contest

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No. 1: Capital One

Capital OneQ4 Return: Flat
Total Return:
Philip van Doorn

It looks like contributor Philip van Doorn was right on the money when he said not only that financials weren’t looking all that bad, but that smaller banks like Capital One (NYSE:COF) were ready to soar.

Heck, he probably isn’t even that excited by his victory, considering he’s held the top spot for the most of the year. Heading into Q4, Capital One was already ahead by double digits and managed to fend off a run by Turkcell to be named this year’s Top Stock of 2012.

The company was helped by its acquisitions over the past 12 months: It bought ING Group‘s (NYSE:ING) ING Direct for roughly $9 billion and HSBC‘s (NYSE:HBC) roughly $30 billion U.S. credit card portfolio. Both served to boost Capital One’s numbers, as it reported impressive earnings in Q3, easily beating estimates.

In the end, Capital One shares boasted total returns of 38% — more than double that of the S&P 500 and worthy of the gold medal for this contest.

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