NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Financial stocks such as Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report and Hartford Financial Services (HIG) - Get Report may still be despised on Main Street because of the bailout, but they are a perfect fit for contrarian investors looking for oversold names, says Thomas Villalta, portfolio manager for the Jones Villalta Opportunity fund (JVOFX) .
The $2.2 million fund, launched in December 2008, is up slightly over 1% in the past year, putting it in the top third of all large-cap value funds, according to
's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format.
Why is the financial sector still so hated?
There is a lot of hate on the part of the general public when it comes to the financial sector due to TARP and the recipients of the TARP money returning to profitability even though there is still a recession going on for the public at large. And then you also have a lot of uncertainty related to financial regulatory reform, which is causing angst among analysts and portfolio managers.
Perhaps the most hated name on Main Street within the financial sector is Goldman Sachs. Is that public anger part of the reason why you like it?
It's the largest holding we have in the portfolio now. It's a little more than 4% of the overall portfolio. We think that this company can do $20 to $21 a share in earnings 2011 and that it should trade at a higher multiple than seven or eight times earnings. We see significant upside to this stock.
Another financial that you are quite high on is The Hartford. Why this one?
Businesses have cut back on their spending on insurance because of the recession. That will come back over time as the recession recedes and as company profitability continues on the path that it is on. And for that reason we think that there is a lot of value in this company from a growth standpoint.
We get over a 3% dividend on this stock just to hold it, and it's one of the most profitable companies in America. They had their best earnings in the history of the company last quarter and we think there is a lot of room for growth. We like the innovation coming out of Intel on many different fronts. While the recently announced
deal was initially viewed as a negative, we see it as the company is looking outside the box to change its dynamics and move forward.
Staying in tech, why do you like EMC (EMC) as opposed to the other storage players?
We really like the company a lot for a number of different reasons. First, you are getting a company that has about $3 a share in cash in addition to a huge stake in
, which is a big participant in the whole cloud computing movement. Also, their purchase of
proved smart even though a lot of people at the time thought it was a bit richly priced. And given the plethora of information that we have out there right now, I think this is a company that's going to benefit over the long term.
Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York
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