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SALT Conference: Blog Recap

LAS VEGAS (TheStreet) -- After focusing on many macro trends at the Skybridge Alternative Investment (SALT) conference, the afternoon's panels focused on some specific names with upside. After such a big run, which sectors and names could provide some upside?

In "From Peril to Profit: The Art of Activist and Distressed Investing," the panelists highlighted specific opportunities on companies that are "down and out." In particular, after such a strong run in the market, the panelists highlighted opportunities of names that have not run.

Christopher Pucillo of Solus Alternative Investments highlighted that distressed areas--including late-stage bankruptcy liquidations--have been attractive because they are not overbought. In particular, he highlighted the public shipping names, which have been difficult, citing that they could be bottoming. On Mad Money, we have looked at Diana Shipping (DSX - Get Report) in particular.

Jeff Smith of Starboard also highlighted opportunities in the activist arena, because his firm can change the trajectory of the company and its future prospects. One key name where they are involved? Office Depot (ODP - Get Report). Of course, he added, where shareholders have been unhappy creates opportunity for investment upside, as was seen with AOL (AOL - Get Report), in particular, catching a big win over the last year.

The next panel, "Top Investment Picks and Viewpoints from the Year Ahead" highlighted key ideas in the current market. Overall, the panel was optimistic, citing that while a recession or frothiness in the market could derail the rally, they didn't see that happening anytime soon. Specific ideas? Leon Cooperman highlighted his number one idea as Monitise, a mobile wallet company. This small company isn't mainstream, but one that he is optimistic on, particularly because of its partnership with Visa ( V). In addition, he ran through opportunities in Express Scripts (ESRX - Get Report), Qualcomm (QCOM), Citi (C), MetLife ( MET), and AIG (AIG).

Picks from John Burbank of Passport Capital? He still likes the Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) like Kinder Morgan (KMP) despite their run, not to mention refiners like Marathon Petroleum (MPC). And he thinks Chinese internet companies, like Qihoo (QIHU) are the way to play China, even though he thinks management is questionable. And, to throw it in there, he mentioned Saudi Arabia--and the country's leading telecom, Mobily.

Oscar Schafer of Rivulet Capital likes Hertz (HTZ) -- this is a name we have liked on Mad Money because of the oligopoly in the rental car industry.

Ultimately, as Schafer said, individual stocks remain opportunities. Always focusing on macro issues and slow GDP growth takes your eye off the ball of individual investment opportunities.

Check out TheStreet's blog recap for more ideas from today's panels at the SALT conference.

--Written by Nicole Urken in Las Vegas.

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