3 of My Biggest Bets for 2013

LONDON -- There are thousands of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. At any one time, I deem that only a few are worth owning. Here is the lowdown on three of the shares in my portfolio today.

1. Lloyds Banking Group
Although shares in Lloyds Banking Group  (LSE: LLOY  ) (NYSE: LYG  ) have fallen heavily in recent days, they have still managed a 7.1% rise so far in 2013. In 2012, Lloyds shares rose 83.8% -- more than any other company in the FTSE 100.

I first bought the shares before the eurozone crisis blew up. I had decided that if the company did not need to raise more capital, then the shares were cheap. I paid an average price of 43.1 pence per share. Today, Lloyds shares cost 51.5 pence.

Recent results from the bank confirmed a 42% reduction in impairments. I expect these costs to fall further as the U.K. economy recovers.

2. SOCO International
SOCO International  (LSE: SIA  ) is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The company produces an average of 55,000 barrels of oil per day from the TGT oilfield offshore Vietnam. In addition to this producing asset, the company has significant exploration opportunities in Africa.

Historically, SOCO has not been the kind of company to hold on to producing assets. I believe that an international oil major would place more value on SOCO's Vietnamese operations than the stock market does today.

SOCO is currently engaged in an assessment process that could see the company report a significant upgrade in reserves by the end of 2013. I will keep the shares that I bought for less than 300 pence.

3. Vodafone
I bought shares in Vodafone  (LSE: VOD  ) (NASDAQ: VOD  ) for 160 pence in the middle of last November. Since then, I have received an interim dividend of 3.27 pence per share. Today, the shares can be sold for 168 pence. I am comfortably in profit on my investment.

Vodafone has increased its dividend to shareholders every year since 1998. Expectations are for another dividend increase for 2014.

The value of Vodafone's stake in U.S. mobile operator Verizon Wireless becomes clearer with each dividend Vodafone receives on its investment in the company. Vodafone is currently using this dividend for a 1.5 billion pound buyback of its own shares.

If you invest for income but already own Vodafone shares, you may wish to read this exclusive in-depth report about another high-income opportunity within the FTSE 100. The blue chip in question offers a 5.5% income, might be worth 850 pence vs. around 730 pence now, and has just been declared the "Motley Fool's Top Income Stock for 2013." Just click here to download the report -- it's absolutely free.

link


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2292446, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2014 5:29:44 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement