Buy on the drop (eventually): 10 stock picks for the second half of 2013

06/25/2013 8:30 am EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

Yes, Virginia, there will be a second half to 2013.

And, yes, the current sell off will end.

U.S. stocks will find a bottom at the April low of 1542 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 or at the February low of 1488. I’d vote at this point for either the February low at 1488 or the 200-day moving average at 1446. With the index at 1592 at the close on June 21, 1446 is another 9.2% lower and would bring the total drop from the May 17 high to 13.3%.

Even the carnage in emerging market stocks will end. The drop in the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) so far comes to 14.8% from the May 7 high. That might be hard to believe since the fall in emerging markets has been so hard and so painful. The index is down 14.8% from its high in May versus a drop of 4.6% from its May 21 high for the S&P 500.

Not immediately. Check out my post for my take on timing. But at some point in the second half—July or August for Japanese stocks, September for U.S. stocks with other markets following is a reasonable projection—this drop goes from scare to opportunity.

What do you want to buy then? Here are my 10 choices for stocks for the second half.

  • Cheniere Energy (LNG). Cheniere was the first company to get a license to export liquefied natural gas from the United States and it is on schedule to start shipping gas from the United States in 2015. Thanks to the natural gas from shale boom in the mid-continent U.S. natural gas sold on June 21 for $3.77 a million BTUs (British Thermal Units) in the United States, but liquefied natural gas sold for $9.58 in the United Kingdom, $14.10 in China, and $14.50 in Japan. Recent a second export project got a license in the United States, but that project isn’t scheduled to start exporting natural gas until 2017. The thing I like about Cheniere in the current economic environment is that the stock should go up, without any need for higher global economic growth to drive up natural gas demand or prices, as Cheniere gets closer and closer to first ship date. For this stock, the driver is pretty much internal: As long as the project stays on schedule, the stock should move up. The shares were down 16.7% as of the close on Friday, June 21 from the May 17 high. This is the only stock in this list of 10 that I’d buy now. And in fact I will add it to my Jubak’s Picks portfolio today.

  • Statoil (STO) has one of the strongest production pipelines of any of the international oil majors with new finds in home waters off Norway, in the deepwater off Brazil, in the Gulf of Mexico, and off Newfoundland. In addition the company has growing production from its acquisitions in U.S. oil and natural gas shale geologies. Even before the current drop , however, Statoil was a wit for 2014 story. That’s the year that capital spending starts to fall and production starts to rise. The recent market drop has only added another leg to a decline in that has taken the New York traded ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) down 22.3% from the February 1 high through the close on June 21. The ADRs are down 12.8% from May 8 through June 21. At the current price you get paid reasonably well to wait for 2014—the yield on the ADRs is 5.46%. Statoil is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio .

  • Industrias Bachoco (IBA)  I named Mexico’s Industrias Bachoco (IBA in New York or BACHOCOB.MM in Mexico City) as one of my 10 food stocks for a post-Smithfield world on June 14. Industrias Bachoco (IBA) is Mexico’s largest poultry producer (and its No. 2 producer of eggs) with a 35% share of the Mexican market chicken market and a 10% share of the egg market. In 2011 the company bought OK Industries, a U.S. chicken producer to increase its market share in the United States. In the first quarter of 2013 revenue grew by 7% but operating margins fell to 7.6% from 8.3% in the first quarter of 2012 as the company took a one-time charge as a result of an outbreak of avian flu (influenza H7N3.) Net income fell 3.6%. Mexican stocks have sold off along with other emerging markets and the peso, one of the world’s stronger currencies before worries about Federal Reserve policy heated up, has sold off. The New York traded ADRs of Industrials Bachoco are down 11.2% from their May 23 high as of the close on June 21.

  • Cemex’s (CX) drop in this market sell off has closely tracked the fall in U.S. housing stocks. Cemex is down 20.9% from its May 15 high to the close on June 21. That’s in the same ballpark as the 18% drop in shares of U.S. homebuilder Lennar (LEN.) Of course, as a Mexican company Cemex took a hit too from the drop in emerging markets and the peso, but in the second half of 2013 the cement-maker’s fortunes are tied closely to the U.S. economy. If you think that the Federal Reserve will taper off its $85 billion a month in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities fast enough to torpedo the recovery in the U.S housing sector, then avoid Cemex. If on the other hand, you think The Taper will be more gradual that the market seems to be assuming at the moment and that U.S. economic growth will be decent enough to keep the sector going, then Cemex is a buy on higher U.S. demand for cement, on lower energy costs to run the company’s cement plants in Mexico and in the United States, and on a somewhat weaker peso against the dollar that will give Cemex a boost on pricing in the U.S. and on earnings report back home. The ADRs are a member of my Jubak Pick 50 long-term portfolio

  • Apple (AAPL) is a bet on the refresh cycle for the company’s iPhones, iPads, and operating systems. Coming this fall: a new iPhone (probably), a new iPad (maybe), a new operating system for the company’s Macintosh computers (certainly), iTunes Radio (certainly), and the new iOS7 operating system for mobile devices (certainly.) All this is likely to mean a surge in growth for Apple. The stock trades at something like 8 times projected earnings for calendar year 2014 (or 6 times if you subtract cash.) Unless you believe the new products will be delayed big time or flops, this is a very cheap stock. Apple is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio

  • Yamana Gold (AUY) is a deeply, deeply contrarian play right now. Any bet on gold or gold miners is, frankly. The U.S. dollar is climbing—bad for gold and all commodity and commodity stocks—and it’s hard to find a whiff of inflation anywhere in the U.S. economy. If these trends continue, you won’t be happy owning gold—although probably not as unhappy as you were in the first half of 2013. The SPDR Gold ETF (GLD), which tracks the price of gold bullion, is down 27.9% from its high on October 4, 2012 and down 22.1% from the beginning of 2013, as of the close on June 21. On the other hand, if the Fed doesn’t get the kind of 3% to 3.5% growth that its members were projecting as of its June 19 meeting so it has to call off plans to taper its purchasing in 2013, then the dollar could sink and gold could rally. If inflation, as measured by the PCE index (Purchasing Consumption Expenditures), does stay near its current annual rate of less than 1%, then gold could rally. This is a hedge. (I prefer gold mining stocks to gold itself in this situation since gold mining stocks give you more leverage to the price of gold.) I wouldn’t buy it now but would wait until I saw some signs that the Fed was wrong on growth and/or inflation and that the dollar was weakening. Yamana Gold is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio

  • Cummins (CMI) has dropped 7.1% from its May 31 high to the close on June 21. The story now is exactly what the story was then—it’s just 7% cheaper. Cummins continues to invest in technology that enables it to gain market share on competitors whether the shorter-term cycle I up or down in the truck market. Right now, beyond this cycle, we can see an increase in sales across the truck and truck engine market as truck owners upgrade to less polluting rucks (because government regulation around the world tell them they have to) and to more fuel efficient trucks because their own bottom lines tell them it would be profitable to do so. Cummins has also been a pioneer in getting natural gas powered truck engines to market. The company’s heavy duty truck engine using natural gas went on sale this year and its medium-duty engine for vehicles such as school buses is scheduled for 2015. The stock has been very predictable in its price moves in the last six months or so, topping out at $120 and bottoming near $105. I’d be happy to buy at $105 a share on this drop. (Cummins is a member of my long-term Jubak Picks 50 portfolio .  )

  • Keppel (KPELY) has three major businesses where I like the near-term and long-term trends. First, the Singapore company is the largest builder of oil rigs—and with oil exploration taking companies ever further afield (or a-ocean, actually) in the search for oil, I think the demand for new rigs with the latest in operating and safety technology will continue to grow. Second, the company is a leader in the desalination of water. Singapore, which doesn't have much in the way of water resources itself, has pushed the technology hard to assure its own water supplies and now Singapore companies such as Keppel are exporting that technology from the Middle East to China. Third, the company is a leader in garbage to energy technology. Here what’s most promising is a wave of investment from private equity companies, largely in Asia, that find the steady cash flows from garbage extremely attractive in the current low yield environment. This enthusiasm means that waste companies will have plenty of cash for building new plants that can turn garbage into income payouts. Keppel’s New York traded ADRs currently pay a 5.3% dividend. (Singapore’s withholding rate on overseas investors is 0%.) The volume at around 100,000 units a day on average isn’t huge but seems enough to give reasonable liquidity for an entry and exit. (Keppel also trades in Singapore under the symbol KEP with much greater volume.) The U.S. ADRs have dropped 8.7% from their high on May 15 to the close on June 21.

  • Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is another one of my 10 foods stock picks from June 14 . Even before the shares fell 7.7% from their May 28 high to the close on June 21, this is the closest thing in the infant nutritional space I could find to a value play. Nutritionals made up about 30% of sales at Abbott, on a pro forma basis after the breakup of the company. That segment turned in 9% sales growth in the first quarter of 2013, but even with 45% of sales in that business coming from emerging markets, Abbott’s margins in that segment trail its competitors. Management’s goal is to raise operating margins in the nutritionals unit by 5 full percentage points by 2015. That, plus a company-wide goal of raising emerging market sales to 50% of total sales (from 30% now) by 2015, should help fix the company’s extremely low return on invested capital of just 10.2% for the last five years. Abbott Laboratories is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio

  • DaVita (DVA) has the kind of steady predictable growth that attracts an investor such Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A). Berkshire Hathaway owns 14% of DaVita’s public shares as of the latest regulatory filing. And I have to say that model is very appealing in the current market and economy. DaVita, a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio  provides dialysis services for diabetics. An aging U.S. population and long-term trends toward obesity in the U.S. population, unfortunately, pretty much guarantee mid-single digit growth in the market for dialysis services. DaVita also has growth potential outside the United States. As of the end of 2012 less than 2% of its dialysis centers were outside the United States. DaVita shares have pretty much tracked the market decline, falling by 5.9% from the May 10 high through the June 21 close. The Berkshire stake gives the stock a solid base here and I’d expect DaVita to be among the least volatile stocks in the U.S. market on any continuation of the current downturn.

Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. When in 2010 I started the mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund , I liquidated all my individual stock holdings and put the money into the fund. The fund did own shares of Apple, Cheniere, DaVita, Industrias Bachoco, Keppel, Statoil, and Yamana Gold as of the end of March. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of March see the fund’s portfolio at
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