TheStreet.com Power Stock Rankings: May 6 - TheStreet

During the week of April 28, TheStreet.com readers searched for the following 10 stocks more than any others. Each week, research associate Patrick Schultz makes the Buy, Sell or Hold call on them below, in the order of their popularity.

1. Visa

(V) - Get Report

: Serve up my crow cold and tough, as I am eating crow on my recent call on Visa. I have been saying to sell Visa and buy

MasterCard

(MA) - Get Report

. I should have said buy 'em both as both V and MA had monster runs! Which stock had better relative performance? Let's break it down. If you bought V on the market open of the IPO offering you would have bought it at $59.50; and if you bought MA at the exact same time (March 19 at 11 a.m.) you would have paid around $209. In both scenarios, you would be sitting on an approximate profit of 36% for both stocks. In other words, it is a push in the near term. Do I still prefer MasterCard? Absolutely. MA is the better value with a lower P/E ratio, higher growth rate and no large legal issues overhanging the company. For Visa, I think there is so much retail buying interest in that it can still work its way higher. --

HOLD

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Top Ten Most Searched Stocks on TheStreet.com

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2. Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

: Apple is on the shining path back to $200. But be careful. No road to glory is ever straight or easy. AAPL is up over 50% in two months and due for a pullback. Be a buyer, but pick your spots. --

BUY

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3. Potash

(POT)

: The ag cycle is far from over, and the big pullback last week gives us the chance to buy. If you doubt the strength of the nascent ag cycle, go and read the recent in-depth coverage of the global food shortage and famine in both

The New York Times

and

the Washington Post

. The ag story is more than just about ethanol; it is about feeding the masses. --

BUY

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4. First Solar

(FSLR) - Get Report

: Look at a chart of FSLR for last week. This is why you should be patient, pick your spots and not be a perma-bull in any one stock. To review, FSLR became a classic investing conundrum where the fundamentals of a company are amazing, but the equity is priced for perfection. Now, patience is paying off, and it can be raised to Buy after having sat as a hold for the past couple of weeks. The stock is down a quick 40 points and trading at the $270 price level I was waiting for. Put on a quarter-position here and add as the stock comes in. --

BUY

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5. Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

: The pulling of the

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

bid means you can and should aggressively buy Mister Softee shares. The market was worried that Steve Ballmer would up his bid and overpay for Yahoo!, putting a dark cloud overhanging its shares. With YHOO now out of the picture, I think it goes back to the mid-30s. Buy this stock aggressively. --

BUY

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6. Altria Group

(MO) - Get Report

: The split-up of Altria into a domestic-focused MO and

Philip Morris International

(PM) - Get Report

is confusing investors but bringing a great opportunity. Here is a chance to pick up a premier American company that is paying a juicy dividend yield of 5.5%. MO is a safe conservative dividend play that should be part of every diversified portfolio. It is not going to knock your socks off with big runs like a

Baidu

(BIDU) - Get Report

, but you will be able to sleep better at night. --

BUY

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7. MasterCard

(MA) - Get Report

: I prefer MA to V as stated above, but both stocks are on fire. MasterCard trades at 27 times forward 2009 estimates, while Visa trades at 34 times. MA is cheaper on a valuation basis, growing faster, and has less headline legal risks. --

BUY

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8. Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Report

: As I have said for the past few weeks, this is the time and place to buy AUY. Every diversified portfolio must own a precious metal stock, and AUY fits the bill perfectly. Anything under $13 looks attractive. --

BUY

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9. Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

: Did you hear it? Did you feel it? It is called sector rotation and it's the silent sound of big money moving into the financial sector. For the first time in a long while, confidence and demand are starting to build with financial stocks. Of course, the proxy play is the House of Citi. --

BUY

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10. Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

: Score one for the good guys, as you should have a huge gain if you bought GOOG as a "value pick" in the $450 range, as we discussed many times over the past couple of months. What to do now? I hope this is obvious to you -- take some profits. Trading discipline and simple common sense demand any stock (yes, even Google) that rallies over 30% in a few short weeks needs to be sold. Take half off here and let the rest ride. --

HOLD

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Patrick Schultz is a research associate at TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He has previously obtained Securities licenses under the NASD?s Series 7, Series 24, Series 52, and Series 63 exams and has worked in the financial markets on various trading desks in addition to trading for his own account. Schultz appreciates your feedback;

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