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Top Stock Picks 2011 – Q1 Results

Over the past couple of years, a group of bloggers have enlisted in a friendly competition as to who can pick the best stocks for the year.   This time around, I was a little less aggressive and picked well known names that appeared to be relatively undervalued at the beginning of the year.  My top stock picks for 2011 are: VISA, Royal Bank of Canada, Husky Energy, and Encana.

My Top 4 Stock Picks for 2011

VISA (V) – Everyone knows VISA!  The stock has recently sold off due to news that debit card transaction prices may be regulated in the US and VISA has a portion of their business in the debit market place.  As one of the worlds most recognized names and the largest card issuer in the world, I’m betting that the stock price will bounce back.  Trading price as of Jan 3, 2011: $70.38 (open).

This stock has been fairly volatile over the past 3 months.  I’m still a believer that this stock will be a strong performer as a buy and hold investment.  Trading price as of March 31, 2011: $73.62. Combined with a $0.15 dividend equates to a return of 4.8%. Disclaimer: I own shares of V.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) –  Although Royal Bank is the largest bank in Canada in terms of market cap, it has been severely under performing relative to the other big banks in Canada.  As with all the big 5 banks, RY sports a healthy dividend and I’m hoping that RY bounces back this year! Trading price as of Jan 3, 2011: $52.32 (open).  Disclaimer: I own shares of RY.TO.

My feeling that RY was oversold relative to other banks appeared to have worked (for now) with a healthy bounce.  Now, we’ll just have to see how this stock performs for the rest of the year.  Trading price as of March 31, 2011: $59.99. Combined with a $0.50 dividend equates to a return of 15.7%

Husky Energy (HSE.TO) – I picked this one a couple years ago and I’m picking it again for some oil exposure.  They own oil producing assets in NL, new assets in China in addition to paying a healthy dividend.  Trading price as of Jan 3, 2011: $26.55. Disclaimer: I own shares of HSE.TO.

With oil prices on the rise, and Husky being a under performer relative to its peers, I felt that it was only a matter of time before it bounced back.  At the beginning of 2011, it appeared that the stock had bottomed and ripe for picking.  Trading price as of March 31, 2011: $29.46.  Combined with a $0.30 dividend equates to a return of 12.07%

Encana (ECA.TO) – A little while back, Encana split into two companies to divide their natural gas and oil operations.  CVE took over the oil side, and ECA took the natural gas.  Last year, I picked CVE which was a winner, but this year, I’m going to try my luck with ECA.  Even though I’m not bullish over natural gas prices, ECA appears cheap with low Price/Earnings, Price/Book ratios and the dividend does not hurt either.   Trading price as of Jan 3, 2011: $29.09

A stock screener helped me pick this stock.  I screened for low valuations along with evidence of turning bullish which turns out to be my top performer for the quarter.  Too bad I don’t own this one!  Trading price as of March 31, 2011: $33.53.  Combined with a $0.20 dividend equates to a return of 16.02%

I’m happy to report that all four picks returned positive thus far in the year with a return of 12.16% which is good enough for 2nd place.  I’m even more pleased that I have some of these stocks in my trading accounts.  Here are the other results.

  1. The Financial Blogger: 12.41%
  2. Million Dollar Journey:  12.16%
  3. My Traders Journal: 11.77%
  4. Where Does All My Money Go: 5.13%
  5. Beating The Index: 3.08%
  6. Intelligent Speculator: 1.66%
  7. Dividend Growth Investor: 1.43%
  8. Wild Investor: 0.28%
  9. Money Smarts Blog: -1.17%

For those of you who made picks within the comments on the first stock picks post, how did you do?







16 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. 1. Jungle

    Interesting. The TSX comp (including 1/4 div payment) is up about 6% since Jan 4. (Same time you picked the prices of those stocks. )

    Only 33% of people on that list have beaten the TSX benchmark so far. And these are all people that have above average knowledge about investing.

    We bought XIC on Jan 25 and it’s up over 7% (including first div payment) Seems that would have beat the returns of more than 2/3 of the stock pickers in your contest.

    We also own RY, HSE and did not expect the prices to shoot up like that. Especially HSE..when Lybia was getting attention, the stock just shot up.

  2. 2. Jungle

    For the stocks I picked, the return since Jan 3 also includes one dividend payment:

    AQN + 9.92%
    RCI.B +3.39%
    AGF.B +1.47%
    DELL +4.82%

    If bought in equal amounts, the total return since Jan 3 would be 4.75%.

  3. I wish I could remember what my picks were! I have an idea but don’t recall specifically. Do you know where these are being tracked (the non-members picks?).

  4. Thanks FT – perhaps I posted them with one of your competition. ;) Great results thus far for you though! I might find them on the Canadian Money Forum too.

  5. EEI + 29.06
    MY -7.64
    TA -3.31
    ENOC -22.76

    Ouch. ENOC had some false/bad earnings reports, MY has just stunk even w/ the nuclear crisis, TA has been dull and EEI has been a wild ride. I own EEI and MY, got out of TA before the New Year and glad I didn’t put anything into ENOC!

  6. Wow, looks like you were right on with your picks this year FT! I can’t pick a winner for the life of me so most of the time I don’t try.

    I did buy some ATVI though because I love games and especially Blizzard. It did well for a little while, but it has been a roller coaster and I’m in the hole with it right now.

    I guess I should just stick with my ETFs!

  7. 8. Brandon

    +5.26% on my picks (according to my google finance portfolio)

    Breakdown

    ABV: -8.43%
    BCE: -0.28%
    CM: +8.37%
    SU: +15.02%

    Odd that google finance recorded $0.46 in dividends when all 4 picks paid out approx $1.83. The difference there would add a percent to my gain…

  8. 9. Joe S.

    Average return of all 10 stock pickers: 4.675%

    TSX Return: 6.09%

    XIU Return: 6.35% + 0.51% dividend = 6.86%

    XIC Return: 6.07% + 0.62% dividend = 6.69%

    These stock picking contests are very interesting in that they reinforce most of what the same financial bloggers in the contest say on their webpages – you cannot pick stocks, and are better off buying the index funds.

  9. Congratulations on being in the top 3! I had bought Visa when it held its IPO and sold it at around $80. I remember it was at $88 at one time!

    I also had ECA.TO too, it seems like quite the volatile stock, so I have sold it too and am waiting to pick it up at its low again.

    I didn’t buy RY.TO but I bought BMO back in January. All the bank stocks have done really well.

    I wanted to by HSE too, had my eye on it, but alas waited until it was too late, then it went up, and up, and up! :)

    All these good stocks, so little money to buy! :)

  10. @SavingMentor- I had ATVI too! I bought it before the split/merger and ended up selling it at the very end of last year because it was such a dog :(

    Guitar Hero doesn’t seem as popular anymore now ;)

  11. 12. LakeDweller

    Hey everyone! Thanks for continuing to be an authoritative source of knowledge.
    I am trying to find a program to help track tax liability from buying and selling stocks. For the past few years I have been exercising stock options, which now require capital gains taxes to be paid upfront, and moving them between my investing account and my TFSA. It is a little overwhelming to determine the present and future tax liabilities.
    Any advice?
    Can someone confirm that the taxable gain when moving a stock from a non-registered investing account to a TFSA isn’t payable until the shares are sold (disposed of)?

  12. 13. Ron

    I leave stock picking to the pro’s and make sure they have my money when doing their picking:

    +8.40% YTD Front Street Growth-B

  13. 14. mode3sour

    GER +51%
    JOYG +16%
    GOOG -4% d’oh
    QCOM +6%

    +17% Q1

    I’m hoping for GER to be +100/200% by year’s end

  14. @youngandthrifty You’re definitely right about Guitar Hero. Hopefully Diablo III will do something good for the stock. Starcraft 2 certainly didn’t do all that much.

    I wish I could just buy Blizzard and cut out Activision altogether! I would have been a shareholder back in the Warcraft 2 days!

    They have a new MMORPG in the works too (I hear it is set in the Starcraft universe). Hopefully that will compliment and exceed WOW and increase their revenues. They have a lot of experience now, so hopefully that will pay off.

  15. 16. Bilbo Bloggins

    My results thus far (since 05-Jan-2011)
    1. MSFT $28.00 $26.15 -6.61%
    2. SNDA $40.57 $43.68 7.67%
    3. RIG $73.25 $80.55 9.97%
    4. COP $67.55 $80.43 19.07%

    Not too shabby. Avg 7.52% puts me in 4th place.

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