Monday, December 08, 2003

Just One Stock

If you could have a single stock in your portfolio for the next year, which would it be? That's the question we put to 17 investment pros each autumn. Five give us short picks, the rest go long, and anyone who beats the market is asked back for another year.

The bulls ended the 2002-03 contest with a collective 30% gain, versus 19% for the S&P 500 index. But propelled skyward by a pair of rebounding microchip stocks--Intel and KLA-Tencor--our bears selected stocks that rose anaverage 44%, no fun for a short-seller.

Richard Driehaus headed our bulls with a 114% increase on Nextel but declined our return invitation. Not sofor Joseph Zock, who took the silver medal with Cendant's 78% surge. Zock, president of Capital ManagementAssociates, re-ups with shipper CNF. Reason: An improving economy means more stuff to haul.

The only bear to survive the last round is Bernie G. Schaeffer, who runs a research firm in Cincinnati. He foresaw trouble for Pfizer last year; the stock shed 1% over the course of the contest. For the year ahead, Schaeffer tags Johnson & Johnson for a short sale; he sees trouble in both the Procrit anemia drug and stent businesses.

Full story at