And the Best Stock for 2010 Is ...

We're just a short way into 2010, and already, things have been great for stock investors. If you're looking to let the good times roll, you'll need to know which stocks will be the best performers in 2010 -- and that's why we turned to our Foolish readers to tell us their thoughts.

To help whet your appetite, our Foolish contributors looked at 13 different stocks, all of which are looking to build on the gains that the stock market put in during 2009. We then asked our readers to decide which of those stocks deserved to go on to the second round. Based on your votes, we came up with a list of five finalists, and let your votes pick the best of the lot.

Judging from the results, it's clear that investors have had enough of playing it safe. Despite the presence of several solid businesses, two aggressive picks fought it out for the top spot.

Honorable mention
Three stocks with strong appeal to value-oriented investors didn't put up much of a fight. Perennial favorite Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) didn't live up to its past performance, coming in with just 14% of the vote. Two of the stocks that Berkshire includes in its portfolio of stock holdings, Costco (Nasdaq: COST  ) and UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) , didn't have much better of a showing, despite trading close to 52-week highs at the moment.

Not all that glitters is gold
The main battle came down to two stocks. Fool contributor Christopher Barker laid out the case for Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW  ) , which has benefited greatly from the increase in silver prices. It stands to see even further gains, should the bullish case for precious metals play itself out to its full potential. Already this year, the company has risen by 16% -- but apparently, voters aren't convinced that silver can sustain its strong run over the past decade.

Take one tablet and call me in the morning
With a dominating 34% of the vote, winner Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) clocked in as readers' favorite pick. Despite having a huge 2009, there's plenty to like about Apple. Rumors of its tablet device have overshadowed competing products such as Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) new Nexus One phone, and its unique combination of innovative products and unmatched customer loyalty convinced voters that the stock could keep defying gravity.

This is your last chance to weigh in -- will Apple live up to its promise, or will another stock rule the roost? Chime in with a comment below, and here's hoping that you have a profitable 2010!

The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Costco, which are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Costco are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. United Parcel Service is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Fool's disclosure policy makes you a winner.


Read/Post Comments (38) | Recommend This Article (123)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 11:54 AM, tkell31 wrote:

    Not sure what it says about the rating system when AAPL at 3 stars is the best bet for 2010.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 1:20 PM, XMFSinchiruna wrote:

    Congrats to the Apple eaters. :)

    Just one point of clarification, though...

    "It stands to see even further gains, should the bullish case for precious metals play itself out to its full potential."

    The point of my article was to show that Silver Wheaton's strength as an investment does not rely upon silver attaining the lofty $50 price target that I have offered as a likely scenario. To the contrary, Silver Wheaton has ample room to grow shareholder value right here at present silver prices.

    Silver Wheaton is not just a play on silver price expectations. It's a solid value investment even under the most pessimistic of silver price scenarios, and an exciting growth play on the strength of its unique business model and robust free cash flow.

    Fool on!

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 4:47 PM, langco1 wrote:

    my picks for 2010 ...ba,c and rimm

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 4:51 PM, flyeaglefly wrote:

    IT IS AMZN al the way baby

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 4:56 PM, slasher wrote:

    IDN rules

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 4:59 PM, chargrjj wrote:

    DNDN .

    At a 2 star rating?

    Up 500% for 2009 is under rated. I like it for another year of great drugs and profits. I'm all in for a split or a take over.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 5:34 PM, Techbuyer wrote:

    Last time I checked, Apple had a market cap of about $190 billion. Where's the big upside? They're great, but they're attracting competition in phones, and their real nemesis could be Verizon, which manages to stomp on innovation in cell phones in the U.S.

    It seems like this crowd votes for last year's winners. Isn't the idea to pick a company that's been out of fashion, but could be on its way up?

    I like OSG: Overseas Shipholding Group. Insiders bought through last year; the market cap is $1.3B;

    Cash + Short Term Inv: $633M; Equity: $1.85M

    Dividend Yield: 3.59%; price has been trending up and annual evenue #s in billions has been: 811 1,000 1,047 1,129 1,705. That's a pretty solid story.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 5:44 PM, OPTIONNUT wrote:

    I love to rub it in that you all missed the boat, I recommended ILMN at 30 and look at that 39 finish today.

    And ILMN also has a 4 star S&P rating.

    I think ILMN is more futuristic looking than any of your picks. CRM is right up there with it and I believe is ripe for backing up the semi at 65 or lower.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 5:47 PM, rfaramir wrote:

    As a Mac programmer and AAPL holder, this is gratifying. But Austrian economics (see mises.org) warns of the danger of currency debasement inherent in current US policy (and the existence of the Fed), and TMFSinchiruna has convinced me that silver, gold, silver royalties, and gold miners are a decent answer to that threat.

    AAPL has great expectations priced into it, thus the three-star rating. I'm holding, pretty convinced this great company will meet those expectations. But I'm accumulating SLW.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 7:24 PM, 6stringfool wrote:

    Let's not forget about healthcare. $20B in Obama-backs has been granted to purchase Electronic Health Record systems and it's all going to a handful of companies like Allscripts (MDRX) and Athenahealth (ATHN) who will be signing contracts to beat the band this year so folks can have systems in place by 2011.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 8:24 PM, richvermil wrote:

    There are numerous small caps that may or may not make bigger moves but they are invariably somewhat speculative. I think AAPL will be a reliable performer in 2010. FCX has a lot going for it in the next year: weak dollar, appreciating gold prices and copper to take advantage of economic growth world-wide.

  • Report this Comment On January 12, 2010, at 8:51 PM, SwiperFox wrote:

    GMK - I like tacos better than Macs!

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 12:09 AM, foolishfollies wrote:

    idcc wins as new licenses come on board and big money sees the undervalued fundamentals

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 12:41 AM, Philyogy wrote:

    ABAT is my top pick for 2010. Not only has this little sucker been growing hand over fist the past few years. I believe, they are to be the battery maker for the new Apple tablet. So add that to the mix of agendas.. We have a mixture for massive growth potential this year..

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 9:16 AM, ELPisthebest wrote:

    I don't care what yall say AAPL kicks the arse of every phone, internet, healthcare, taco (????) or any other company there every was or is, from now until the end of days, no question about it. AAPL IS THE ALPHA STOCK.

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 9:25 AM, Fool wrote:

    If you do not have aapl in you folder ... then you will be kicking yourself in the a$$ very soon. The New rules around P?E ratio will be coming soon and you will see a foward P?E of around 15 ... which means its stock should be well above 300 soon. get on the boat today while the stock is down!

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 10:25 AM, Archvile wrote:

    UVE

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 1:49 PM, gimponthego wrote:

    JOYG..A modicum of DD will show this unpretentious stock up $8 over the past 10 days. Up $3.17 today as of this post.

    RAX..beautiful growth stock. Of course that means a high P/E. That's never stopped a fool, right CCU? Trading at 21+, analyst see Rackspace at $26+ this summer.

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2010, at 5:22 PM, langco1 wrote:

    my best stock is rimm,ba and c for 2010.....

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2010, at 10:11 AM, mikecart1 wrote:

    CVM will be the stock that shocks the market in 2010.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 12:45 PM, desertr0se100 wrote:

    QSII wins..

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 1:22 PM, Fool wrote:

    CSR ... orders are far more than inventory for a considerable time to come, growing revenue and profits, Big Brother is watching.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 1:33 PM, operacat wrote:

    I would like to vote for PCU. Even though some

    quarters have just downgraded it to "underperform",

    others think it will go much higher. But over the past

    52 weeks, it's gone from 12. something to 36.93

    It's been lower in these last few days and past performance doesn't insure, future results; but for it's

    history in the last year and a half, I think it deserves

    consideration.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 3:05 PM, dontwin wrote:

    Guess what $1000 can buy? Close to 17,000 shares of mntr.pk. Sure it is a penny stock @,06 but it's Stemulite supplement has been endorsed by several pro football players and the product is flying off the shelves at health food stores. Not much to risk for a potentially BIg, BIG gain! I own 42,000 shares.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 3:20 PM, GOFORAWILDRIDE wrote:

    I am hanging my hat on GGWPQ which is showing all signs of tossing off the BK mantle and getting back to running MALLS and their RETIREMENT COMPLEXES at a large profit to meeeeeeee!

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 3:22 PM, GOFORAWILDRIDE wrote:

    What the heck happened to my post?

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 3:22 PM, GOFORAWILDRIDE wrote:

    ok a delay i guess

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 6:27 PM, Vince1172 wrote:

    i second the vote for RAX. ignore the high P/E. strong volume. great earnings. at 2.7B market cap, it has way more room to grown than AAPL (185.5B market cap).

    also LOVE SLW! (and TGB, GMO, SWC, MVG).

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2010, at 9:13 PM, wdopey wrote:

    Cytori CYTX It is a new aid for Plastic surgeons. Lipo suction your own fat tissue Its for Agreat women post cancer of the breast, 3.40 in 11/09 8.24 to day+++++its in trial for regenerating hearts ,livers kidneys Its like betting on a miracle. A great stock and a chance at a mircle man made.

  • Report this Comment On January 17, 2010, at 2:37 AM, ozzfan1317 wrote:

    Ebix and ASEI are my two picks

  • Report this Comment On January 17, 2010, at 2:43 AM, ozzfan1317 wrote:

    Ebix and ASEI are my two picks

  • Report this Comment On January 17, 2010, at 12:54 PM, kgeechee wrote:

    Say it AGAIN, ozzie!

  • Report this Comment On January 17, 2010, at 1:55 PM, BSpicks wrote:

    What About Luna

  • Report this Comment On January 17, 2010, at 5:35 PM, mayach wrote:

    Apple will be the king http://bit.ly/apple9 there is lot of potential with the new releases in the pipeline

  • Report this Comment On January 18, 2010, at 4:13 PM, markm2010 wrote:

    What do you guys think about BRKR......Bruker?

  • Report this Comment On January 18, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Fool wrote:

    PCP has been silently climbing all year, and we're just at the very infancy of a new aerospace cycle. This company is monolothic behemoth of a titanic monopoly, and that's good if you're holding shares!

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2010, at 2:51 PM, dapperone wrote:

    I expect that some of the best picks will be consumer goods/retail stocks that were beaten down severely by the 2008-9 bear market, but haven't yet demonstrated much of a recovery. As the employment and income numbers improve in the coming months, they will bounce back very strong. One of my favorites for 2010/2011 is Sealy (ZZ: NYSE).

  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2010, at 3:04 PM, dapperone wrote:

    I expect that some of the strongest stocks in the next year or when employment/income numbers improve will be consumer/retail companies that were beaten down severely during 2008/2009 but haven't as of yet demonstrated any significant recovery. One of my favorite picks is Sealy (ZZ: NYSE) because of their market share and because their fundamentals are mostly sound.

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