The obituary for the department store has been written many times, but Pat Dunkerley, portfolio manager of the Scout Mid Cap Fund ( UMBMX) says Macy's ( M) continues to thrive in the face of doubters. "Their MyMacy's localization initiative is bringing the right merchandise into the stores and their comp sales are moving higher," says Dunkerley. The $822 million fund, which garners a full 5 stars from Morningstar ( MORN), is up 1.5% over the past year, better than 92% of its peers. Over the past five years, the fund has returned an average of 8.3% annually, outpacing 99% of its Morningstar rivals.
Another well-known name that Dunkerley likes and that also boasts a large number of Wall Street skeptics is CBS ( CBS). Despite worries about online media competition, Dunkerley says a heated presidential election in 2012 could boost returns at the television network. "I think the acrimonious political environment in the U.S. is causing an arms race. Candidates are spending more money on these political ads. That's good for networks like CBS. So there are a lot of drivers for this stock," says Dunkerley. And while many say a recovery in the U.S. economy will increase new car sales at the expense of service centers like AutoZone ( AZO), Dunkerley says there will be no shortage of auto repairs as the average age of an automobile on the road has now hit 11 years. "The U.S. economy is expanding so I think car sales will go up but cars are still very old so AutoZone is going to do very well. The average age of a vehicle is near a record. They are the leading retailer on the do it yourself side, plus, they are repurchasing their shares," says Dunkerly. Finally, Dunkerley is a fan of Herbalife ( HLF) as an emerging markets play saying that "when their incomes go up, they eat more calories. So they gain weight. They need a weight loss solution."