Monday's Big Stocks for Big Profits

When large caps make a run for it, Fools pay attention.

Think of Microsoft. After years of poor performance, Mr. Softy and his $300-billion-plus market cap began making a move over the summer that enriched investors who bought and stayed in.

Hence this column. For as much money as there is to be made in fast-movers such as SkillSoft (Nasdaq: SKIL  ) , which hit a new 52-week high on Monday, the tortoise often beats the hare. Here's a look at Monday's finest terrapins, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

Company

Closing Price

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

% Change

52-Week Range

GlobalSantaFe

$86.83

*****

1.06%

$51.54-$89.30

Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE:CCE)

$24.89

***

0.32%

$19.78-$26.28

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB)

$35.14

**

0.23%

$34.17-$42.65

Kroger (NYSE:KR)

$28.00

****

Unchanged

$21.12-$31.94

Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH)

$56.92

****

(0.11%)

$56.41-$76.15

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

Shares of our top gainer, oil explorer GlobalSantaFe, rose on news that the company will sell two of its deepwater rigs to ease the concerns of U.K. officials examining its merger with Transocean (NYSE: RIG  ) .

Surely, that's interesting to some. But we Fools prefer buy-to-hold stock stories. Are any of our large-cap leaders worth owning over the next three to five years?

Mostly, yes -- if you believe the 75,000-plus professional and amateur stock pickers in our Motley Fool CAPS community. But a top rating isn't always a bullish indicator. If it were, Baidu.com, a three-star stock that's been a four-bagger since being added to the Rule Breakers portfolio last year, would long ago have earned a five-star rating.

A little bit of Limited on my mind
So let's eschew the five-star stocks here. They're too obvious. Not so with health-care-products company Cardinal Health, though it's been a turbulent flight for investors who own shares.

Witness its fiscal first-quarter results. Cardinal's ailing pharmaceutical-services segment, hobbled by lower-than-expected generic-drug introductions, grew revenue by just 4% over last year's Q1. Worse, management told investors to expect further weakness in its pharma segment in the second quarter.

The stock has since sold off significantly. But that may be an opportunity for patient investors. Here's how fellow Fool Billy Fisher put it recently:

Cardinal shares may be a bargain trading near their 52-week low, but a turn in the direction of the stock is going to take some time. Additional positive indicators for shareholders include a repurchase of $600 million worth of common shares during the quarter and the procurement of additional business with its largest customer, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS  ) .

I agree, and I'd add that, according to CAPS, at 11.6 times trailing earnings, Cardinal trades for a substantial discount to the wider industry average of 18.2. Yet it's Cardinal that outperforms its peers in terms of margins and dividend growth.

I find that too interesting to ignore. Thus, I'm adding the stock to my CAPS watch list. But that's me. What about you? What would you do? Let us know by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

See you back here tomorrow for more of the best of the biggest.

Cap off your day with related CAPS Foolishness:


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