A good ending to the year… (2009 stock picks – final update)

avatar By: IS
Date posted: 12.31.2009 (4:00 pm) | Write a Comment  (28 Comments)

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Last year, as I was preparing my picks for this competition, one of the big questions I was asking myself was if I should go for a homerun or not. The best way to go for a homerun is to build a scenario and take all 4 picks according to that scenario. Of course, if things go right, you will be very difficult to beat. But that also leaves little margin for error. A few of other contestants did just that, especially around oil prices. I also felt like oil would go up (hence my pick of USO) but was not convinced enough to put everything on that bet. And I am glad I did!!

As you can recall, I did take two companies based on economic scenarios, GLD and USO, as I expected gold and oil to rise in 2009 as fears of inflation and economic recovery regained traction. Turns out I was fairly right on both counts but that is not how I ended up winning the stock competition.

Rather, I won the competition by taking two tech stocks that I felt were much undervalued, Baidu and Ebay. Both of them enjoyed terrific returns as Baidu continued to fend off Google’s offence in China. Meanwhile, not much good news came out of Ebay in 2009 but the stock had been beaten up so badly that it actually did perform very well in the year.

Given the stock market returns this year (S&P 500 = +24, 36%, S&P/TSX = +30, 23%), any stock pick above 20% would be considered somewhat of a success:

So here is the recap for my 4 stock picks:

GLD (ETF on Gold)        +24, 01%

Gold has been discussed so much in recent months as it was able to rise well above the psychological 1000$ barrier. I can’t say I’m unhappy with this pick as it was also good protection in periods of downsides in the markets.

USO (ETF on Oil)           +18,67%

Actually happy this one did not perform too well. Other contestants had big bets on oil so a major spike in oil would have helped my performance but would probably not have helped me stay at #1 in the rankings!

EBAY (online merchant, owner of Paypal and partial owner of Skype)         +68,62%

I don’t consider that Ebay did much in terms of improving things in 2009. In fact, getting partially rid of Skype was major mistake and if they do get rid of Paypal as has been discussed, that would be another major mistake. Paypal has a dominant position in the exploding electronic payment systems market and if they do innovate quickly enough, it could mean some big numbers in the future.

BIDU (search engine, ranked #1 in China) +214,95%

Baidu got slammed because it was caught selling ads without notifying users and sometimes even tricking users. But as I had expressed, Baidu operating in China is a major difference and the way it abides laws should not be compared with how US companies such as Google must do so. Of course, that makes it very difficult for Google to compete when it cannot offer illegal downloads to compete with its Chinese counterpart.

In a few hours, I will announce my picks for 2010; hopefully they can do as well!

Here are the results of my fellow competitors!

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioDvd Ex-Date
WINWindstream Holdings Inc8.0712.39356.1512/27/2013
FTRFrontier Communications Corp4.688.55298.6412/5/2013
CTLCenturyLink Inc30.77.03231.483/6/2014
FEFirstEnergy Corp32.636.74119.432/5/2014
DODiamond Offshore Drilling Inc60.055.8367.542/13/2014
HCPHCP Inc36.775.71110.322/6/2014
POMPepco Holdings Inc19.085.6687.0212/6/2013
HCNHealth Care REIT Inc55.995.46607.362/6/2014
ETREntergy Corp61.895.3769.572/7/2014
MOAltria Group Inc36.985.1982.7212/23/2013
TETECO Energy Inc17.045.1677.42/14/2014
TAT&T Inc35.215.11141.351/8/2014
ESVEnsco PLC59.085.0828.6112/5/2013
TEGIntegrys Energy Group Inc53.745.0672.792/26/2014
SOSouthern Co/The40.635722/6/2014
RAIReynolds American Inc50.454.99103.612/12/2013
PPLPPL Corp30.714.7954.5412/6/2013
VTRVentas Inc56.834.72238.4212/17/2013
KMIKinder Morgan Inc/DE35.544.61116.281/29/2014
EXCExelon Corp26.914.61147.722/12/2014
PCGPG&E Corp40.374.5195.7112/30/2013
EDConsolidated Edison Inc55.214.4662.32/10/2014
DUKDuke Energy Corp69.964.46100.422/19/2014
AEEAmeren Corp35.854.46N/A12/9/2013
RIGTransocean Ltd50.384.4534.812/19/2014
PEGPublic Service Enterprise Group Inc32.694.4156.3112/4/2013
PMPhilip Morris International Inc85.544.462.6412/24/2013
MACMacerich Co/The56.944.36111.532/18/2014
KIMKimco Realty Corp20.624.36356.1812/30/2013
WMBWilliams Cos Inc/The35.224.32102.5312/11/2013
SCGSCANA Corp47.174.361.812/6/2013
PBCTPeople's United Financial Inc15.144.2988.831/30/2014
LOLorillard Inc51.334.2973.632/26/2014
VZVerizon Communications Inc49.624.27657.011/8/2014
PNWPinnacle West Capital Corp53.364.2575.481/30/2014
AEPAmerican Electric Power Co Inc47.064.2572.762/10/2014
DRIDarden Restaurants Inc53.334.1364.091/8/2014
GASAGL Resources Inc46.544.0474.912/19/2014
PCLPlum Creek Timber Co Inc43.744.02133.992/19/2014
XELXcel Energy Inc28.02457.6712/24/2013
LEGLeggett & Platt Inc30.213.9765.312/11/2013
KRFTKraft Foods Group Inc53.123.9518.0512/23/2013
DTEDTE Energy Co66.743.9362.0112/19/2013
LLYEli Lilly & Co50.223.953.482/12/2014
IRMIron Mountain Inc28.123.84196.4512/23/2013
CMSCMS Energy Corp26.543.8466.742/12/2014
AIVApartment Investment & Management Co25.113.82N/A2/19/2014
INTCIntel Corp23.843.7839.532/5/2014
LMTLockheed Martin Corp141.673.7649.652/27/2014
GRMNGarmin Ltd48.563.7164.7812/12/2013
PSAPublic Storage152.73.67114.7812/11/2013
WECWisconsin Energy Corp41.773.6650.582/12/2014
SESpectra Energy Corp33.553.6480.172/5/2014
AVBAvalonBay Communities Inc118.563.61147.8512/27/2013
FCXFreeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc34.693.639.011/13/2014
NUNortheast Utilities41.083.5871.412/16/2013
CVCCablevision Systems Corp16.773.58483.893/12/2014
CNPCenterPoint Energy Inc23.433.5482.972/14/2014
MRKMerck & Co Inc49.833.5383.8712/12/2013
STXSeagate Technology PLC49.043.5128.182/10/2014
DDominion Resources Inc/VA64.913.47373.0912/4/2013
SYYSysco Corp33.633.4565.9912/31/2013
MCDMcDonald's Corp97.373.3353.072/26/2014
VNOVornado Realty Trust87.933.32265.312/5/2014
ABBVAbbVie Inc48.453.301/13/2014
DOWDow Chemical Co/The39.063.28170.7312/24/2013
MCHPMicrochip Technology Inc43.293.28214.952/18/2014
CVXChevron Corp122.443.2726.142/19/2014
PBIPitney Bowes Inc23.173.2468.952/12/2014
NEMNewmont Mining Corp24.833.2236.8712/3/2013
CPBCampbell Soup Co38.733.2252.871/3/2014
CINFCincinnati Financial Corp52.413.2162.4712/16/2013
CSCOCisco Systems Inc21.253.233.161/2/2014
PAYXPaychex Inc43.733.283.781/31/2014
SPGSimon Property Group Inc149.853.286.842/10/2014
WMWaste Management Inc45.683.280.5812/2/2013
NINiSource Inc31.623.1666.612/5/2014
DPSDr Pepper Snapple Group Inc48.263.1545.5412/12/2013
NEENextEra Energy Inc84.593.1252.332/26/2014
LYBLyondellBasell Industries NV77.183.1184.093/6/2014
MATMattel Inc46.273.1155.082/18/2014
EQREquity Residential51.543.1210.0112/19/2013
SPLSStaples Inc15.533.09N/A12/26/2013
CLXClorox Co/The93.173.0560.061/27/2014
CAGConAgra Foods Inc32.993.0352.551/29/2014
PFEPfizer Inc31.733.0368.92/12/2014
CACA Inc333.0348.483/3/2014
KKellogg Co60.643.0364.722/27/2014
GISGeneral Mills Inc50.433.0146.791/10/2014
WUWestern Union Co/The16.67324.7812/19/2013
IPInternational Paper Co46.65365.022/14/2014
RSGRepublic Services Inc34.912.9858.3912/30/2013
HASHasbro Inc53.822.9755.621/29/2014
KMBKimberly-Clark Corp109.162.9766.4612/4/2013
GCIGannett Co Inc27.062.9643.7512/4/2013
PLDPrologis Inc37.932.95N/A12/19/2013
MSFTMicrosoft Corp38.132.9435.192/18/2014
DDEI du Pont de Nemours & Co61.382.9367.292/12/2014
EIXEdison International46.212.9228.4812/31/2013

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  1. Comment by OneDay — December 31, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    Congratualations IS!!! Ranked first wow!! I’m looking forward tomorrow’s.picks for 2010!!!! I take this occasion to wish you a Happy New Year 2010 with lots of great successes!!

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  9. Comment by IS — January 3, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    @OneDay – Thanks!! Picks are published now:)

    Best wishes to you as well, all the best and thanks for all of your comments in 2009, hope to have as a reader again in 2010:)

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  15. Comment by FinanciallySmart — January 9, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    Congratulation! Well ending 2009 on a high. Looking towards your pick for 2010. I agree with you Ebay should have stay with skype but such is business sometimes we make mistakes. Happy New Year.

  16. Comment by IS — January 9, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    @FinanciallySmart – Thanks, do you have any picks of your own?:)

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    Hello. This is kind of an “unconventional” question , but have other visitors asked you how get the menu bar to look like you’ve got it? I also have a blog and am really looking to alter around the theme, however am scared to death to mess with it for fear of the search engines punishing me. I am very new to all of this …so i am just not positive exactly how to try to to it all yet. I’ll just keep working on it one day at a time Thanks for any help you can offer here

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