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3 top stock picks from Northland Wealth’s David Cockfield

David Cockfield is managing director and portfolio manager of Northland Wealth Management. His focus is on Canadian equities.

Top picks:

Pacific Rubiales Corp.
The company, the largest independent oil producer in Colombia, has been very successful in growing its oil production which is sold into the higher-priced international markets. The company has years of drilling prospects and has a supportive, stable political environment. The stock is trading at 10.4 times earnings and pays a small dividend. Our most recent purchase was in December at $22.71.

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Crescent Point Energy Corp.
This is a fast-growing Canadian oil-focused company dominant in the Bakken oil play in Saskatchewan and North Dakota. The company has been very active in acquiring smaller oil companies and adding to its already large land position. It is highly ranked for its excellent operating record. Growth through acquisition has diluted the shares but the company has continued to pay an excellent dividend, presently 7.5 per cent. Our most recent purchase was in December at $36.98.

Bank of Nova Scotia
This conservatively managed Canadian chartered bank has established a significant presence in the Caribbean region, Mexico, Central America and South America. These areas are showing stronger economic growth than Canada or the U.S. Given that BNS has operated profitably in these new markets for some time and has developed the skills and personnel to do so, it gives the bank an added source of profit growth. The dividend of 4 per cent is reasonable. Our most recent purchase was in December at $56.74.

Past picks: Dec. 09, 2011

BCE Inc.
Then: $40.74
Now: $42.68
Total return: +11.78 per cent

Enbridge Inc.
Then: $36.68
Now: $42.07
Total return: +18.01 per cent

Baytex Energy Corp.
Then: $54.49
Now: $42.21
Total return: –18.22 per cent

Total return average: +3.86 per cent

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Market outlook:
After four unsuccessful attempts to break through the 12,500 level, the TSX Index is still trying. The "fiscal cliff" looming in the U.S. and new problems in Europe are providing obstacles to further advances. The Federal Reserve's new stimulus plans, plus a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" will open the way for the TSX to move higher as 2012 draws to a close.

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