Over the past few months, I've been making public decisions about my retirement investments, which I've dubbed the Cheesehead portfolio.
Yesterday, I looked at five of the 10 companies I picked for my portfolio. Today, I'm going to review the other five and show you how even though some of them have gone up in price, they might be even better deals now than they were two months ago.
A quick look at performance
The publication dates in the following table will take you to my original write-ups for each stock. Since the first recommendation was published, the market is down almost 8%, but taken together with equal weighting, all five stocks together are down only about 3% since they were recommended.
Price at Publication
|Google (Nasdaq: GOOG )||6/26/2011||$474.88||$562.13||18%|
|PriceSmart (Nasdaq: PSMT )||6/28/2011||$50.53||$57.33||13%|
|Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI )||7/15/2011||$11.91||$10.65||(11%)|
|Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG )||7/25/2011||$400.99||$342.01||(15%)|
|National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV )||7/28/2011||$81.25||$66.13||(19%)|
Sources: Google Finance and Fool.com.
Some of these companies have seen their share prices rise and others have fallen, but all five are buys today for long-term, buy-and-hold investors. A key question to ask yourself -- which I think will make things very clear -- is: Will these companies be dominating their industries five years from now?
First, our gainers
I have no doubt that Google will be one of the world's most important companies five years from now. Larry Page has eased fears about spending without a payoff: The company's latest earnings announcement showed significant beats on both revenue and profit. And with its promising new project Google+ gaining traction, there's no telling how high this stock -- which trades at just 20 times earnings -- can fly.
PriceSmart, the Costco of Central America, is showing booming growth in revenue -- up a whopping 24% year on year. Not only that, but the company will also be continuing its expansion into South America later this year. For a lot of retiring baby boomers, Central America looks like a tempting relocation option, and PriceSmart is where they'll go to get their goods once they're down there.
Next, the three that are an even better bargain
Activision Blizzard, maker of the popular World of Warcraft and Call of Duty video-game franchises, recently doubled analyst expectations for earnings. The main driver of those results was online-enabled games, which have better margins than games sold off the shelf, making them key to the company's growth. Online games also encourage users to join the subscription-based gaming communities that promise steady revenue for the company.
Meanwhile, Intuitive Surgical saw its earnings climb 32% over last year. Those earnings surprised analysts, coming in 7% higher than expected. Shares have fallen sharply in the past several weeks, though, with little explanation other than general market fear. This drop serves as a textbook example of why we focus on individual companies more than overall market dynamics: We're able to spot deals where they exist.
Finally, National Oilwell Varco has taken a mighty 21% dive since its July highs. Investors are worried that a slowing economy will result in less demand for oil. They may be right in the short term, but there's no doubt we'll be using oil for the foreseeable future. When oil and natural gas extractors need equipment to upgrade their aging facilities, they'll surely be heading to NOV, popularly dubbed "No Other Vendor" because of its ubiquity in the market.
Good enough for you?
Of course, you need to do your own due diligence to determine whether these stocks are right for your own retirement portfolio. I encourage you to keep level-headed during these volatile days on the market.
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