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"
Nathan Slaughterspot 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 hisprofit .
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 (
Delphi Automotive (Nasdaq: DLPH)
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: WPRT),
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
heeded WFR). 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
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 this stock 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"
Again, SODA) 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
This Could be the World's Best Oil Stock"
My colleague Tim Begany PBR) 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 Brazilian coast.
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 FB) 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
RenRen (Nasdaq: RENN),
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"
Tim Begany'sbullish bearish view of
Diamond Offshore (
. 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 Brumleybottom 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"
debatehedge againstinflation ." Though Michael's focus on the
Silver Shares TrustETF (
has yet to pay off, I share his bullish view. In thisfund
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.