A Winning Portfolio

11/25/2005 12:00 am EST


Vivian Lewis

Editor and Publisher, Global Investing

Seven advisors compete for six-month periods in The Strategy Lab on MSN Money . The top performer in the just completed round was global investor, Vivian Lewis, with a 26.6% gain. Here, she outlines some of her new positions for the next round.

"Sanofi-Aventis (SNY NYSE), the French drug firm, has a drug I believe will prove a blockbuster in its pipeline: Acomplia, developed by studying how marijuana works. Acomplia helps people control addictions to everything from cigarettes to alcohol, and also helps them lose weight. Moreover, Sanofi owns Institute Pasteur, the world’s best name in vaccines and the sole current producer of US flu vaccines. Vaccines are again a high-profit growth area, and they are immune from generic competition because they are hard to make.

"One 'holdover' in our portfolio is Japan. The country is still recovering from deflation over the past 15 years, and a dose of inflation is what it needs. So there is less risk of the Japanese Central Bank raising interest rates. Moreover, Japan remains my favorite way to play the benefits from the growth of China. We are investing in Japan through the iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ ASE)."

"Tesco (TSCDY Other OTC) has successfully beaten off the Wal-Mart challenge in its native Britain, where it has a growing market share. And thanks to a ground-breaking deal whereby it traded its troubled Asian supermarkets for Carrefour’s in Eastern Europe, it will make more money this year. Tesco grows organically and not via acquisitions in Britain and will also keep its share of the consumer pie despite higher oil prices.

"In India, we recommend the privately owned bank, ICICI Bank Limited (IBN NYSE). A free-market operation, IBN is banker of choice for Indian multinational corporations and their staff, for Indian consumers moving into the credit-card culture, for Indians underwriting stocks or investing in them, and for non-residents and international Indians needing banking services.

"Amdocs (DOX NYSE) makes systems for customer-relations management for telephone companies, part of the most maddening trend in current-day life. But I like owning its shares as a comfort while I sit on hold after pushing buttons in response to a disembodied voice. Amdocs is run from St. Louis, incorporated in the (British) Channel Islands, and owned and key managed by Israelis. However hateful, telephone-management systems are a growth industry with the rise of multi-channel, multi-service telephony around the world. DOX is in the sweet spot."

"Corporacion GEO (CVGFY Other OTC) is a Mexican homebuilder. The company uses rigorous accounting, capitalizing its financing costs as required under US accounting standards, and only recognizing revenue when it has received the money. Regarding the country of Mexico, the leading presidential candidate, who is now the mayor of Mexico City, may do better on economic reforms than current president Vicente Fox, who has proven ineffectual. We have been long-term owners of GEO, and it has gained 835% for us since we bought it in 1997."

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