Medtronic comprises 0.7% of Renaissance Technologies' portfolio and 1.4% of Daniel Tepper's at Appaloosa Management. It was one of the top three health care stock picks for 2011 from Action Alert PLUS' Stephanie Link and one of Morningstar's five-star large-cap stocks for 2011.
Southwestern Energy (SWN - Get Report) engages in the exploration, development and production of natural gas in the U.S. In 2010, Southwestern Energy declined by more than 22%, making it one of the worst-performing energy stocks of the year.
Natural gas prices were weak in 2010, while crude oil prices rose dramatically. Despite that weakness in natural gas prices, Southwestern Energy still is expected to generate 14% earnings growth in 2010. The declining price for natural gas is likely to reverse as demand for natural gas is certain to be on the rise as a cheaper alternative to soaring crude oil prices.Furthermore, with a Republican House of Representatives, more attention may be shifted toward favoring natural gas after those measures were blocked by the former Democratic controlled legislative body. In contention is the issue of "fracking," a process by which fractures are made in rocks in order to recover more natural gas. Environmentalists are concerned that fracking will result in pollution to drink water supplies. Anaylsts expect Southwestern's earnings to decline 4% for full-year 2011, but I think they're wrong. Southwestern is a well-run company with an excellent track record of earnings and stock price growth. Exxon Mobil (XOM) recognized the importance of natural gas with its purchase of XTO Energy for about $31 billion in 2010. If the stock price of Southwestern does not improve, I would expect another larger global integrated oil and gas company to swoop in and purchase Southwestern Energy. Southwestern comprises 2.5% of T. Boone Pickens' portfolio and 1.5% of Westport Asset Management's. It was one of the 10 best S&P 500 stocks of the past decade, and Dan Dicker selected it as one of his six natural gas stocks for 2011. -- Written by Scott Rothbort in Millburn, N.J.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. At the time of publication, author was long Sears Holdings calls. Scott Rothbort has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is the founder and president of LakeView Asset Management, a registered investment advisor specializing in customized separate account management for high net worth individuals. In addition, he is the founder of TheFinanceProfessor.com, an educational social networking site, and publisher of The LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report. Rothbort is also a professor of finance at Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business.