Now, I know that lots of my readers are already yelling at their computer screens — “Buy and hold is dead!” goes the cry, and that has certainly been increasingly the sentiment of the market over the last few years … especially since, in so many stocks, “buy and hold” has meant “buy and watch them go down over time.”
Any inflexible strategy is bound to have problems and down years … heck, even the flexible ones have down years … but still, there’s a certain part of me that loves “buy and hold.” Missing the worst days and the worst crashes in the market is great if your stop losses get you out before the bottom hits, but not missing the best days has historically been more important, if only because those who sell as their stocks go down are generally terrible at buying back in before the stock or market has fully rebounded or recovered (no not you — I mean everyone else).
In a world where I have no confidence in the overall direction of the market, I can at least have some confidence in big businesses with stable earnings, growing revenues, and growing dividends. Maybe we can’t hold them forever, but most of my best picks over the long haul have been stocks that I’ve held through up and down markets (and watched the dividends compound dramatically, in some cases) … and my biggest mistakes have mostly been selling stocks that, after I sold them, beat the market handily. That said, I also have held on to my share of stinkers for far too long, so maybe this is just a psychological flaw for your friendly neighborhood Gumshoe.
Best Company To Invest In 2013: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc.(FDP)
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces, transports, sources, markets, and distributes fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables worldwide. It also offers prepared fruit and vegetables, juices, beverages, snacks, and poultry and meat products. The company provides various fresh-cut fruit products, such as bananas, pineapples, melons, tomatoes, grapes, apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, citrus, avocados, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, plantains, mangos, and fruit cocktail; and fresh-cut vegetable products primarily consisting of potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cucumbers, as well as prepared salads, such as coleslaw and potato salad. In addition, Fresh Del Monte Produce engages in ocean freight; and manufacture of plastics and box products comprising bins, trays, bags, and boxes. It offers fresh produce under the DEL MONTE, UTC, and Rosy brands; and prepared fruits and vegetables, juices, beverages, and snacks under the DEL MON TE, Fruit Express, Just Juice, and Fruitini brands. The company markets and distributes its products to retail stores, food clubs, wholesalers, distributors, and foodservice operators. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. was founded in 1886 and is based in George Town, Cayman Islands.
- [By Zacks]Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP) announced an earnings per share surprise of 110% for its first quarter, fueled by product line restructuring and tighter cost controls. Adjusted earnings per share of 84 cents jumped from the prior year’s 28 cents and eclipsed the consensus of 40 cents. Net sales decline slightly due to aggressive efforts to improve the North American performance of its “Other Fresh Produce” business segment.
Shares of the fruit and vegetable company gained approximately 16.5% last week as 52-week highs were reached on Apr 30 and May 1. Earnings estimates for this year have moved forward in the past seven days to $1.06. Fresh Del Monte Produce is encouraged by its best quarter in two years, and believes it is seeing the beginning of a turnaround that will leave it well-positioned for long-term growth.
Best Company To Invest In 2013: Huron Consulting Group Inc.(HURN)
Huron Consulting Group Inc. provides operational and financial consulting services in the United States. Its Health and Education Consulting segment develops and implements solutions to help clients address financial management, strategy, operational and organizational effectiveness, research administration, and regulatory compliance; and offers consulting services related to organization performance improvement, revenue cycle improvement, turnarounds, merger or affiliation strategies, labor productivity, non-labor cost management, information technology, patient flow improvement, physician practice management, interim management, clinical quality and medical management, and governance and board development to hospitals, health systems, physicians, managed care organizations, academic medical centers, colleges, universities, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The company?s Legal Consulting segment provides strategic and management consulting, cost managem ent, and technology and information management, including matter management, records, document review, and discovery services to assist law departments and law firms. This segment also offers V3locity solution, which delivers streamlined e-discovery process; and IMPACT solution that delivers sustainable cost reductions. Its Financial Consulting segment assists corporations with accounting and financial reporting matters, and provides financial analysis in restructuring and turnaround situations, as well as consults with companies in the areas of corporate governance, Sarbanes Oxley compliance, and internal audit. Huron Consulting Group Inc. serves various industries, including healthcare, education, professional services, pharmaceutical, technology, transportation services, telecommunications, financial services, electronics, consumer products, governmental, energy and utilities, and industrial manufacturing. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Chicago, I llinois.
- [By Zacks]Huron Consulting Group Inc. (HURN) is a leading provider of financial and operational consulting services that gained 15.4% last week. The company reported first-quarter earnings per share of 55 cents on revenues of $116 million. Earnings bettered the consensus by approximately 7.8% and surged from the previous year, while revenues soared 87% from the first quarter of 2006’s $62.2 million. Huron Consulting Group reached a 52-week high on May 3 while earnings estimates for this year improved 1.3% in the past seven days. The company continues to experience increased demand across its service offerings, and is optimistic that it will continue for the remainder of 2007. Huron Consulting Group believes it is well-positioned for this year and beyond, as evidenced by the decision to boost its full year outlook.
Best Company To Invest In 2013: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company(CTB)
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets replacement tires in North America and internationally. It operates in two segments, North American Tire Operations and International Tire Operations. The North American Tire Operations segment produces and distributes passenger car and light truck tires, as well as tires for racing, medium trucks, and motorcycles to independent tire dealers, wholesale distributors, regional and national retail tire chains, and other large automotive product retail chains. This segment sells its products through three own retail stores. The International Tire Operations segment manufactures and markets passenger car, light truck, motorcycle, light vehicle tires, radial and bias medium truck tires, and racing tires and tire retread material to markets worldwide. The company was founded in 1913 and is based in Findlay, Ohio.
- [By Zacks]Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (CTB) reversed a year-ago loss with first-quarter earnings of 33 cents. The result also bettered the consensus by as much as 312%. Total sales moved forward 16% to $689 million, versus $597 million in the first quarter of 2006. Cooper Tire & Rubber said it continued to benefit from the cost reduction and profit improvement initiatives announced last September. Furthermore, it was helped by improved price and mix in North America, and increased tire unit sales in Europe and Asia.
Shares of the company gained 12% last week, making it one of the top-performing Zacks #1 Rank companies. It also reached a 52-week high on the day of its report. Looking forward, Cooper Tire & Rubber expects to build on the momentum of the first quarter, as conditions and opportunities suggest a strong 2007. Over the past seven days, earnings estimates for this year have moved forward approximately 25% to 98 cents.
Best Company To Invest In 2013: Life Partners Holdings Inc(LPHI)
Life Partners Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Life Partners, Inc., operates in the secondary market for life insurance in the United States. It facilitates life settlement transactions by identifying, examining, and purchasing the policies as agent for the purchasers. The company?s financial transactions involve the purchase of life insurance policies at a discount to their face value for investment purposes. It serves institutional purchasers, which include investment funds designed to acquire and hold life settlements; and retail purchasers, such as high net worth individuals. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in Waco, Texas.
- [By Zacks]Life Partners Holdings, Inc. (LPHI) is engaged in the secondary market for life insurance. The company gained almost 27.5% last week to become the top-performing Zacks #1 Rank company. It was also a top performer in the week ended Apr 20. Over the past month, earnings estimates for the year ending February 2008 are up approximately 22.7%.
Life Partners Holdings began this month by reached 52-week highs each day from May 2 through May 4. Last month, the company announced that it expects net income to surge 215% for fiscal 2007. This is attributed to an exceptional increase in net income beginning in the third quarter and continuing into the fourth quarter. For its fiscal fourth-quarter, earnings per share are expected at 22 cents, which would mark significant advances from both the year-ago performance and Wall Street expectations. The company plans to officially report its earnings later this month.