Five Spot: Raymond James, Tech to Gain


Chris Guinther, manager of the RidgeWorth Small Cap Growth Stock Fund ( SSCTX), is bullish on technology firms such as Synaptics ( SYNA) and CyberSource ( CYBS), and expects shares of Raymond James Financial ( RJF) to gain during the next two years.

The fund, which is rated five stars by Morningstar ( MORN), is up 4.5% this year, while the Russell 2000 Index remains little changed. It has lost 26% annually, on average, during the past three years, compared with a 24% decline for the benchmark.

Guinther shares his views in's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks in five fast and furious questions.

Are you a bull or a bear?

Guinther: We are bullish over the long term, thinking that the earnings expectations for most companies are set low for the remainder of the year and that they will need to be raised modestly for 2009 and 2010.

We focus on the direction of earnings expectations, which has historically driven the direction of stock prices. We think the overall equity market will grind higher over the next 12 to 24 months as expectations are broadly increased. Over the next two years, we are confident that unemployment will peak, stimulus dollars will begin to work, credit will ease and the economy will again begin to grow.

What is your top stock pick?

Guinther: Our top stock idea right now is Raymond James Financial ( RJF). We've calculated its normal earnings power within two years to be nearly $300 million per year, up from an expected trough of $125 million in 2009. We expect the company should be valued conservatively at 12 times normal earnings which would equate to a market value of $3.6 billion versus its current market value of $1.9 billion.

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