ARLINGTON, Texas ( TheStreet) -- Samuel Saladino, manager of the Epiphany Fund, says health-care stocks such as drug distributor AmerisourceBergen ( ABC) may be big winners in 2010, while he's avoiding materials shares.The mutual fund, which garners four out of five stars from Morningstar, has returned more than 32% over the past year. Over the past three years, the Epiphany Fund has fallen an annual average of 5.7%, better than 72% of its Morningstar-tracked peers. Welcome to TheStreet.com's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views in five questions. Are you bullish or bearish? Saladino: Long-term bull but short-term cautious. Equities are reasonably valued -- even attractive -- when you compare earnings yield to fixed-income yields. The worst of the financial crisis and recession are behind us. Companies have been forced to address costs and efficiency, and should produce good earnings leverage as the U.S. and foreign economies recover. Many economic indicators are strengthening, and monetary policy is accommodative worldwide. I've been a little cautious short-term as I expected earnings, and especially revenue, to recover a bit more slowly than the market appeared to be pricing starting in April 2009. What is your top stock pick? Saladino: AmerisourceBergen has been a steady performer. Its revenue grew overall through the recession, with only slight declines in a couple of quarters. Year-over-year earnings per share have consistently increased for several years. The company has maintained steady margins in this low-margin business, but better asset utilization has led to increasing return on assets and return on equity. EPS and revenue forecasts are showing strong upward trends. The company is currently benefiting from expanded use of generic drugs, a trend that should continue due to ongoing efforts to reduce health-care costs and with several high-volume drugs facing patent expirations. Another favorite, TJX Cos. ( TJX), saw significant revenue growth in 2009 as consumers became more value-conscious. Sales were 8% higher in 2009 than in 2008, and were up 20% year-over-year in December. Same-store sales were up 6% for the year and up 14% in December. While gains in 2010 will be more difficult, prolonged economic challenges like elevated unemployment and underemployment, reduced household net worth and continued uncertainty should keep consumer interest in bargain hunting high. Good inventory management has led to both higher asset utilization and higher margins, though this could be difficult to sustain if consumers return in strength to higher-end retailers.
Analyst David MacDougall is hosting a live chat in the Stockpickr Forums today, March 4, starting at 10 a.m. EST, to discuss health care stocks, including big pharma and the insurers. Log in or sign up at Stockpickr to submit your questions!