The past year was a profitable one for most investors: The Dow
Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 10%, while the S&P 500 and
the Nasdaq rose around 15% each. Toss in dividends, and total
returns were a few percentage points higher.
Of course, the goal ofinvesting -- especially for active
investors like the folks who read Street Authority -- is to beat
How did we fare? Well, here's a look at the 10 most popular
picks of 2012 and a look at how they fared.
Forget Oil...This Could be the Biggest Story in Energy"
wrote this story in May 2012
, before natural gas kicked off a solid summer rally. Thespot
price for natural gas surged from just above $2 per thousand
cubic feet (
) to above $3.80 in November, before a modest 20%
Nathan's timing was solid and he continues to deliver
ongoing coverage of what he calls the "North American Energy
Boom" in his
Scarcity & Real Wealth
newsletter, including the best ways toprofit .
The Man Who Made $15 Billion from the Housing Bubble Just
Bought These 5Stocks "
focus on investing guru James Paulson
was also quite popular with readers. Of the five stocks
profiled, three were subsequently acquired by other companies
-- at solid premiums -- while
United Rentals (NYSE:
Delphi Automotive (Nasdaq:
have each risen roughly 20% since the article was published.
As a group, this basket of stocks has returned more than 25%
This Company Could Kill the Gasoline Engine -- and Make Huge
Profits for Investors"
Andy Obermueller has been following
Westport Innovations (Nasdaq:
maker of natural gas engines
, in his
newsletter for several years. By the time he looked at in
this article,shares had slumped nearly 40% in just two
months. Shares subsequently rallied anew but are now right
back at $27.
Andy's current take: "Westport Innovations is building
heavy-duty engines that run on natural gas and has
partnerships with six of the 10 top truck manufacturers.
Worldwide, themarket for heavy trucks is estimated to hit
$340 billion in 2014, and Westport is positioned to grab a
disproportionate share of the market given its broad reach
within the industry."
This UnlovedStock Could Double"
Don't catch falling knives. That's the lesson I should have
when I predicted a 100% potential gain
MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:
. Shares of the semiconductor and solar equipment provider
had fallen from above $80 in early 2008 to just $4 this past
spring, but rather than rebounding, shares kept falling,
until they bottomed out at around $1.60 in the summer.
Had I waited for the selling to abate, I would have looked
wiser, as shares have finally started to reverse course. It's
cold comfort that thisstock has finally doubled from its
lows, though I'd add that shares have ampleupside from
current levels as management has finally begun delivering on
the promise of a risingcash flow .
Forget Coca-Cola: Buy This Stock Instead"
Andy nailed this one
. Shares of
had slumped from the52-week high of $48 to just $30 by the
time he profiled the beverage maker in May 2012 and they
subsequently rebounded 50% right back to a recent $48.
This Could be the World's Best Oil Stock"
My colleague Tim Begany
aimed to capture lighting in a bottle
with Brazilian oil giant
after its stock had fallen from $70 in 2008 to $50 in 2009 to
just $30 by the time of his profile. Well, this stock
continues to vex investors, and now trades around $20. That's
right where shares stood in 2006 -- before Petrobras
announced it had found massive deposits of oil buried off the
Blame goes to a series of missed financial and development
targets, though I share Tim's view that this stockwill find
favor as production ramps in coming years and "Petrobras
elevates Brazil to the status of an elite oil-producing
Forget Facebook: This Social Media Stock is Ready to Break
Dave Goodboy's spring-time suggestion to
steer clear of
was a wise one, as shares slumped badly over the summer.
However, shares have subsequently rebounded back to the level
where Dave issued his "steer clear" message. Meanwhile,
Dave's suggestion to instead focus on
the "Facebook of China" was a bit premature, as all kinds of
Chinese stocks slumped into the summer and fall.
But RenRen has started to rebound in recent weeks -- along
with other Chinese stocks, so this pick now deserves a fresh
It's Time to Sell This Popular Oil Stock"
view on Petrobras
was paired with thisbearish view of
Diamond Offshore (NYSE:
. He noted that a long period of under-investment meant that
"Diamond Offshore now has one of the oldest fleets in the
offshore drilling industry, with an average rig age of nearly
30 years." Tim's timing was initially impeccable as shares
fell 20% in coming months, though they have subsequently
re-traced those losses back to the levels that Tim initially
saw them asovervalued .
Is McDonald's Stock Now a Buy?"
My colleague James Brumley
answered the titular question
with an emphatic "yes." James figured the 10% pullback in the
stock as we headed into summer was a fresh entry point for
investors. Though shares have been range-bound, his
conclusion still holds: "Thebottom line is, McDonald's is a
'right company, right time' proposition. Though many would
still argue the trailing price-to-earnings (P/E ) ratio is
still frothy at 16.8, it's not an unusual price tag for ablue
chip as reliable as this one."
Forget Gold: Double YourMoney with this Instead"
Michael Vodicka weighed on the classic "gold vs. silver"
this past September
and concluded that silver's industrial uses provide it "with
another layer of demand that goes far beyond its use as
ahedge againstinflation ." Though Michael's focus on the
Silver Shares TrustETF (NYSE:
has yet to pay off, I share his bullish view. In this
more recent piece
, I suggested that
Silver Wheaton was an especially appealing stock, in tandem
with Michael's bullish exchange-tradedfund play.
Action to Take -->
Many of our stock ideas should be seen with a multi-year time
horizon, so any time you takenote of a stock pick that has failed
to gain traction thus far, it's worthwhile to give theinvestment
opportunity a fresh look. They may be slow out of the gate, but
could still race to the finish.
-- David Sterman
P.S. -- Have you read our latest report -- Top 10 Stocks for
2013? One stock has raised its dividend 33 consecutive quarters.
Another dominates its market... pays $3.40 in dividends per share
each year... and has returned 117% since it went public just over
four years ago. In this special presentation, I'll tell you about
all of our just-released picks for 2013 -- including several names
and ticker symbols -- so that you can start profiting today. Click
here to learn more.
David Sterman does not personally hold positions in any
securities mentioned in this article. StreetAuthority LLC does not
hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
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