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Three top stock picks from Middlefield’s Andy Nasr

Andy Nasr is managing director, senior portfolio manager, Middlefield Group. His focus is North American dividend stocks and REITS.

Top Picks:

Prudential Financial (PRU NYSE)

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We expect the earnings growth to accelerate due to an improved regulatory outlook and an increased focus on asset management.

Capital Power (CPX TSX)

We expect dividend and cash flow growth to materialize as the company's Sheppard facility becomes operational in 2015.

CBS (CBS NYSE)

The company is well positioned to deliver above-average long-term earnings growth through content monetization (higher retransmission fees and licensing), potential asset sales and higher advertising revenues.

Pat Picks: June 14, 2013

Ainsworth Lumber (ANS TSX)

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Then: $3.86; Now: $2.81, -27.2%. Total return: -27.2%

Brookfield Office Properties (BPO TSX)

Then: $17.41; Now: $22.42, +28.77%. Total return: +32.72%

Manulife Financial (MFC TSX)

Then: $15.70; Now: $20.83, +32.68%. Total return: +36.23%

Total-return average: +13.92%

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Market Outlook:

Several emerging markets are currently experiencing more moderate growth as they address trade imbalances, currency depreciation and inflation. Conversely, we believe developed economies, such as the U.S. and Europe, will continue to benefit from policy-driven initiatives that should support global trade and offset weakness in smaller and structurally challenged emerging countries. U.S. consumers and corporations remain very well positioned to increase spending after enduring several years of debt reduction. Equity market volatility has been affected by geopolitical risk (Ukraine), moderate emerging market growth and lacklustre 1Q GDP in the U.S., all of which should improve during the remainder of 2014. Accommodative monetary policies have created a structural ceiling for long-term interest rates, which should continue to support the demand for dividend paying equities and income producing real estate and infrastructure assets.

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