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3 top stock picks from Macquarie’s Stan Wong

Stan Wong is vice president and portfolio manager for Macquarie Private Wealth. His focus is on North American large caps and exchange traded funds.

Top Picks:

Encana Corp - bought in June 2012 at $20.33

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Natural gas prices appear to have bottomed in April and have moved up through key technical resistance levels. Encana should continue to benefit from the recovering commodity price along with the seasonal strength in the energy sector (late-summer through fall) historically. The 3.5% dividend yield should also attract investors.

Family Dollar Stores - bought this month at $66.24

Family Dollar Stores Inc. is the second largest operator of retail discount stores with over 7,000 locations in the U.S. With consumers deleveraging and curbing spending habits, Family Dollar is well-positioned to continue expanding its earnings growth profile. Family Dollar has an attractive long-term expected annual earnings growth forecast of over 15%.

Whole Foods Market - bought last month at $84.20

Whole Foods Market Inc. is the largest U.S. retailer of natural and organic foods. Whole Foods provides investors with a strong secular growth opportunity as consumers continue to be more health-conscious and switch to organic and natural food offerings. Whole Foods has an expected long-term annual earnings growth rate of nearly 20%.

Past Picks:June 22, 2011


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Then: $81.46

Now: $96.83

Total return: +19.94%

Philip Morris International

Then: $66.65

Now: $91.50

Total return: +42.87%

Wynn Resorts – sold in Dec. 2011

Then: $133.07

Now: $101.72

Total return: -18.42%

Total Return Average: +14.80%


Near-term, equity markets appear to be approaching overbought technical levels after rallying from the lows in early-June. We expect markets to continue to be largely driven by policy actions in Europe and the U.S. The euro zone debt crisis along with slowing economic growth in the U.S. and China will likely persist as challenging headwinds to equities. We continue to overweight our portfolios in defensive, low beta, high dividend stocks but are opportunistic buyers of strong secular growth companies on price weakness.

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