It's a wide open field for our 2010 contest. Three-time champion Jean-François Tardif bowed out at the top of his game last year and a record number of contestants have now lined up for a run at the crown. The challenge: seize onto the stock that will soar higher than all others this year and ride it to victory. But you only get one chance, and one stock, to get it right. See last year's contest here.
Let the games begin for 2010:
LOU SCHIZAS Radio-show host, analyst, and professor of finance at Sheridan College
The Pick: Magma Energy Corp. Dec. 31 close: $1.81
The Rationale: The stock has a chart that looks ready to move higher, a corporate calendar that will have the company actively taking its story to investors in 2010, and a seasoned management team, which has been able to raise capital under horrid conditions. The last two factors are that I like the potential of the geothermal story and finally, the fact that the name was brought to me by Jim, a user of the globeinvestor.com website, who asked me to conduct some research on his behalf in September, 2009.
COLIN CIESZYNSKI Market analyst, CMC Markets
The Pick: WestJet Dec. 31 close: $12.39
The rationale: Earlier this month, the shares broke out of a two-year downtrend, and the 50-day moving average completed a golden cross of the 200-day average. Despite a lot of negative sentiment surrounding the industry with the global recession, the shares have been quietly turning higher in the past few weeks. The recent rebound and support at higher levels suggests that some investors may be starting to look toward the potential for recovery in 2010.
GAIL BEBEE Author of No Hype: Straight Goods on Investing Your Money
The Pick: Star Bulk Carriers Dec. 31 close: $2.82 (U.S.)
The Rationale: Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is an unloved bulk shipping stock. There is an upturn in global production happening and this should set the stage for an economic recovery in 2010. Dry bulk shipping is a beaten-up sector, which is a fair proxy for a recovery. The stock has low debt for the sector, trades well below book value and pays a dividend.
GAREY AITKEN Chief investment officer, Bissett Investment Management
The Pick: Thomson Reuters Dec. 31 close: $33.95
The Rationale: We expect organic revenue growth to remain sluggish given that the global economy is in the early recovery phase, but sales activity should improve as the year progresses. Thomson Reuters will further solidify its strong market share positioning with two new major product launches. Restructuring costs relating to their business combination should fall off significantly throughout 2010. We believe that the market has mispriced this business. As the fundamental strength of the company becomes more apparent with the global economic recovery, we expect the stock to be a solid performer.
JAMES BREECH President and CEO, Cougar Global Investments
The Pick: Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF Dec. 31 close: $41 (U.S.)
The Rationale: Cougar Global's analysis concludes that the MSCI emerging markets index has the highest expected return for the year (10.23 per cent). We utilize the Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF to invest in this asset class because it is well diversified, holding 824 stocks in 44 emerging markets countries. The emerging markets are expected to benefit more than the developed world from the impending global economic recovery.
SKOT KORTJE Stocktrends.com analyst
The Pick: Stella-Jones Inc.
Dec. 31 close: $25.40
The Rationale: It is an infrastructure play that will depend on a North American economic recovery, but its current bullish trend should continue throughout 2010. During the bull market between 2002 and the market peak in the summer of 2007, Stella-Jones's share price shot from under $3 to just shy of $50. It managed to stay Stock Trends Bullish for over five-and-a-half years - the longest bull trend for any listed TSX stock during the last bull market. The stock is relatively early in its new bull trend, but I am looking for it to regain its previous highs of 2007. It remains a low-profile stock. However, it doesn't hurt that Warren Buffett has laid his chips down on the railroad sector.
26-year-old author of Rich by Thirty
The Pick: Suncor
Dec. 31 close: $37.21 The Rationale: I encourage a long-term approach to growing your stock portfolio and I believe Suncor fits with this philosophy. Suncor plans on generating significant cash flow in the coming years, and when combined with potential value coming from the optimization of the Petro-Canada assets, I believe this stock will appreciate in value and generate a healthy dividend.