Skousen: Top Advisor's Top Pick

12/31/2004 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Mark Skousen

Editor, Forecasts & Strategies, High-Income Alert

We begin this special report with Mark Skousen, who outperformed all other advisors in last year's report. His Top Pick for last year - Collector's Universe - gained 95% over the course of 2004. Here, we offer his update on the stock, as well as his new favorite for 2005.

Regarding last year's pick, Mark says, "Collectors Universe (CLCT NASDAQ) is a turnaround story. Under a new CEO, it sold off some money-losing operations to focus strictly on being the premier grading and authentication service for rare coins, stamps, and trading cards. It paid off, as the company is increasing revenues and earnings, and is now sitting on $25 million in cash. And while I don't think it will perform as spectacularly as it did in 2004, I think Collectors will still head higher in 2005."

For his Top Pick for 2005, Mark turns to a stock covered in his recently launched Skousen Hedge Fund Trader service. He explains, "Turnaround stories have the best chance of making it big in 2005, so my stock pick for 2005 is SunMicrosystems (SUNW NASDAQ). Here's a company that was selling for $100 a share in the heyday of the tech boom, and now is under $6 a share. Under the able leadership of CEO Scott McNealy, Sun has revamped its product line of network computing and cut costs. As a result, net losses fell 49% and revenues rose 4% to $2.63 billion in the last reporting quarter. Sun is expected to be profitable in 2005. Not surprisingly, there's insider buying."

Editor's Note: While speaking to Mark in preparation of this report, he mentioned a high risk speculation for 2005, which he agreed to let me share with our readers. "VRB Power (CA:VRB  Canadian Venture Exchange) offers a new technology in storing electricity on demand. It has been an unfolding story over the past few years, and now is finally on track to attract actual contracts. This penny stock is selling around C$0.86. It is highly volatile, so wait patiently and only buy on dips. For high risk-takers only!"

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