The $230 million mutual fund has returned 14% over the past year, putting it in Morningstar's 99th percentile for small-cap blend funds. The Auer Growth Fund has returned 7% this year, landing it in the fund-tracker's 16th percentile.
Welcome to TheStreet.com'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.
Are you bullish or bearish on stocks right now?
I'm still very bullish, and the reason is because the market cannot find the will to seriously sell off. We've thrown Libya, record food prices and oil over $100 a barrel at the stock market, and
the Dow is still hanging
close to 12,000. This is just a slight pullback and one of the last buying opportunities before the Dow pushes over 14,000.
Of all the gold stocks available, why do you prefer Richmont Mines (RIC) ?
It's very hard to find a growing gold company that trades this cheaply in the market. This is a small Canadian miner with a pristine balance sheet. It has a market cap of roughly $200 million, and we really like the company's ability to grow its earnings.
Cephalon (CEPH) has been trading near its low for the year. Why do you like it?
Cephalon is involved in some of the hot areas including pain management and cancer drugs. It's trading around 10 times earnings and right around its 52-week low. It is often talked about as a takeover candidate as well. You can buy it here with little risk.
It certainly has been one of the best stocks in our portfolio. But it has an additional 50% upside. The valuation is still cheap. It's really a play on the consumer buying and replacing cars. China has also been a big buyer of their natural resources, and we expect that to continue as well. It's a volatile stock, though.
You can still make a lot of money in the financials as they continue to mend. Key is a Midwestern bank and the Midwest economy, especially its real estate, did not suffer the extremes that you saw on the coasts. Its balance sheet is healing, and its loan-loss reserves keep going down each quarter. Management is also very good, and we like the price.
-- Reported by Gregg Greenberg in New York.
Readers Also Like:
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.