Home Depot (HD): It is clear to me -- if only me -- that housing will mount a comeback in 2011. Home Depot doesn't even need it, as we saw this year with its remarkable 23% return DESPITE housing weakness. A lot of that is CEO Frank Blake who has done a masterful job turning the company around. I see bigger ticket items finally being sold in far greater numbers -- where the margins are -- and comparable store sales better around the country. People think the company can deliver EPS of $2.25. I think that's too low. Maybe $2.30 is more like it, given the endless small boosts. Why can't it trade to $45 on that and the housing shortage I see coming in 2012. Another great year for Home Depot coming up.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM): The dividend's going to be boosted, the buyback enlarged, the earnings power revealed, the shroud gone. JPM's still the best-run bank in America, if not the world and CEO Jamie Dimon is one of our greatest bankers. The company really did come through this period relatively unscathed and with a better branch network, courtesy the dirt cheap price of Washington Mutual. This company's stock has done nothing, literally nothing, year over year. Unchanged! That won't be the case in 2011. I see it going to $50 propelled by earnings power and the dividend hikes. It will be the preeminent financial to own and become a staple of many a mutual fund's portfolio. Call it $50.
3M (MMM): The disappointing analyst meeting and the negative previous quarter haunt this stock going into 2011. But if you are like me and believe there will be worldwide growth, you would be nuts not to consider buying this 13% grower for just 15 times earnings. 3M's got so much going for it in Asia and has so many new businesses--it remains the most potent inventor of new products among the major companies I follow--that I think it will drift back up to its 52 week high of $91 if not higher. Perhaps $100, which I think is my stretch goal given its $6.16 in composite EPS estimates. Why $100? I think the dollar gets weaker and this is one of the most sensitive companies to the greenback which means that $6.16 could be too low. Cheap stock that's in the penalty box because of the ever so slight shade down of earnings, a shade down that, when I analyze the company, is something that will be left behind in 2011.
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