Last year’s stock-picking contest just came to a close, and it was down to the wire. For the winners and losers, though, there’s no time for celebrating or head-hanging.
Instead, it’s time for another year and another compilation of your best bets for the coming 12 months. The 10 Best Stocks for 2013 contest is under way.
This InvestorPlace feature lists 10 long-term investments from a group of money managers, market experts and financial journalists. The 10 Best Stocks for 2013 is meant to provide buy-and-hold picks you can purchase now and sit on for a year — and come out better off at the end of it.
Throughout the year, the writers will regularly offer updates on the good, the bad and the ugly of their respective picks. There’s a long way to the finish line, of course, but the starting gun has already sounded.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at each writer’s recommendation for the New Year:
Best Stock for 2013: Daimler
First up, we have money manager and stock picker Charles Sizemore, CFA. He has a pretty good track record in the contest, winning the gold in 2011 by picking Visa (NYSE:V) and barely missing a repeat in 2012 with Turkcell (NYSE:TKC).
This year, though, he’s switching things up with an automaker stock. Namely, Daimler (PINK:DDAIF) — maker of the iconic Mercedes-Benz.
In the end, it boils down to one simple reason: It’s pretty darn cheap … especially considering it makes such a well-known and popular luxury model.
“Daimler trades at accounting book value and for just 0.39 times sales. It also has €46 billion in cash short-term investments, and receivables — and a market cap of just €44 billion,” Charles explains. “Yes, the cash in the bank and receivables are actually worth more than the entire company at current prices.”
Best Stock for 2013: Qualcomm
Specifically, he is expecting mobile to be the dominant theme of the year, which is why Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) jumped out to him. The company, which was huge in the late 90′s, is a leading maker of chipsets for tech gadgets.
That’s not all, though. QCOM also passed a rigorous stock screen he ran. “Qualcomm was one of only seven S&P 500 stocks that came up when I looked for companies that pay dividends, have relatively low debt, trade at a reasonable P/E ratio and have estimates for double-digit growth this year and next for both earnings and revenue,” he writes.
“Qualcomm truly is the mighty Q.”
Best Stock for 2013: Femsa
Renowned trader, journalist and money manager Jon Markman finished one spot ahead of La Monica last year thanks to Hershey‘s (NYSE:HSY) 20% returns. This year, he’s trading in the sweets for emerging market pick Fomento Economico Mexicano (NYSE:FMX), often referred to as Femsa.
While Markman thinks the U.S. will struggle with austerity in the coming months, he also believes that if we head just a little bit south, we will find one of the greatest potential growth profiles in the world: Mexico, where Femsa is based.
“Femsa caters to more than 1.7 million retailers and 215 million consumers, and is the No. 1 beverage provider in every region that it operates in. The firm has grown revenues by 16% annually for the last 10 years,” he explains.
In fact, last year, FMX tallied impressive 44% gains. On the next pullback, he says, it will be time to buy.
Best Stock for 2013: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
Next up is the founder and president of Dragonfly Capital Management: Greg Harmon, CFA. His pick for 2013 is dredging services company Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (NASDAQ:GLDD), which he believes will be a winner as the U.S. economy starts growing again.
In fact, the company has already been looking like a winner. GLDD recorded an even more impressive year than Femsa did in 2012, gaining more than 60%.
“You might think that picking this name as the winner in 2013 is crazy after its climb in 2012,” Harmon acknowledges. “But the technicals support a much greater move.”
He points to the chart’s consolidation channel, Relative Strength Index and Moving Average Convergence Divergence histogram as bullish indicators. And for those who aren’t fans of the technicals, the few-and-far-between analysts who do follow this stock are bullish as well.
Only time will tell if they — and Harmon — are right.
Best Stock for 2013: Vale
First, the company has significant exposure to emerging markets, especially China (its biggest customer by a landslide) and Brazil. On top of that, the company has made some important internal improvements, such as scaling back its production portfolio and selling non-core assets.
Last but not least, Vale is a steal. “Shares are down from a high above $35 in early 2011 and were virtually flat for 2012. Vale trades at 6.3x 2013 enterprise value to EBITDA, below the group average of 6.6x,” Stephanie writes.
That leaves room for plenty of upside — while downside is limited thanks to growing production and the simple fact that emerging markets are resource-hungry.
We’ll just have to wait and see if they’re hungry enough for Vale to eat up some profits and rumble to the top of this list in the coming months.
Best Stock for 2013: Mylan
Oftentimes when you bet on a pharma name, you’re betting on one hit-or-miss drug, but not with Mylan. The company has more than 1,000 generic drug products alone, and they’re sold in over 150 countires.
Plus, the stock comes with a lot more to like at both a technical and fundamental level. “Basic technical analysis of Mylan shows a sustained uptrend in the stock, with the stock price returning nearly 20% gains annually for the past five years,” Rick says.
Toss in a low forward P/E, strong renewable cash reserves, stable earnings and strong growth rates, and you have a nice package that just might be exactly what the doctor ordered for 2013.
Best Stock for 2013: Global X Funds Greece
We move across the pond for this next pick, which comes courtesy of Mebane Faber, portfolio manager at Cambria Investment Management. His team looked at the historical cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (CAPE) of 32 countries and found that extreme lows have signaled great buying opportunities in the past.
Sure, the countries that were cheap came with lots of bad news and, in most cases, crisis … but they also came with solid returns for those who snatched them up at the lows.
With that in mind, he is recommending the MSCI Greece Fund (NYSE:GREK), as Greece is trading at at 10-year CAPE of 2.49 — the cheapest of all countries. For comparison’s sake, just consider that the U.S. goes for a CAPE of 21 right now.
It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.
Best Stock for 2013: Sherwin-Williams
Greece might not be looking so hot right now, but Louis Navellier, Editor of Blue Chip Growth, thinks the U.S. is in for some rough waters as well.
Have no fear, though. His pick, Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW), has resisted market shocks with no problem — and that’s just one reason it’s a buy for 2013. It also has a reliable dividend that serves to keep investors loyal and that will put some extra cash in your pocket.
Above all, though, Louis likes the fact that “raw material prices are finally falling, while demand for paint and coatings is on the rise thanks to a stronger U.S. housing market.”
Oh yeah, and Sherwin-Williams also recently snatched up Comex Group, giving it exposure to the growing Mexican market. Those are a lot of reasons to like the stock — and hopefully they will turn into some even more likeable returns.
Best Stock for 2013: Intel
InvestorPlace.com Editor Jeff Reeves hasn’t had quite the track record he hoped for so far in these annual stock-picking contests, so this year, he decided to keep things simple with blue-chip tech company Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).
Why? Well, quite simply, it’s the largest semiconductor manufacturer on the planet and comes with an eye-popping dividend yielding over 4.4%.
Jeff acknowledges that the post-PC era is a challenge for Intel, but he remains convinced that the company will figure out mobile.
And he isn’t just talk. He writes:
“For the record, I have skin in the game on this. At the end of October, I added the semiconductor giant to my personal portfolio at $21.50. And when it fell to $20.50 recently I doubled down. I plan on hanging on to this company for a long time because of that attractive yield, and the hopes of big growth and continued increases in the payout.”
Hopefully, the pick pays off — both for Jeff’s portfolio and for his contest pride.
Best Stock for 2013: Two Harbors Investment Corp.
His reasons for the buy of the Silver Bay Realty Trust (NYSE:SBY) spinoff: TWO has been snatching up single-family homes over the last three years, and it yields a whopping 19%.
Steve explains, “Yep, you read that right … 19%. True, the recent $0.55 payout announcement skews the yield (previous dividends were $0.36 and $0.40 quarterly), but even if the yield normalizes, it’s still north of 12%.”
He’s pretty confident, too — especially for a newcomer.
“Did I mention I feel great about this trade?” he asks. The real question, though, is how great he will feel come December.
Let the games begin!