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Three top stock picks from Avenue Investment’s Paul Harris

Paul Harris is partner and portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management. His focus is North American and global equities.

Top Picks:

Bank of America

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Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the United States, holding 10 per cent of all deposits in the country. The bank continues to restructure by selling off non-core assets and reducing cost through reduction in headcount. The company continues to improve its capital base. The stock trades at .7 times tangible book value and 10 times earnings. The company is buying back stock and will be increasing its dividend over the next several years.

Deere & Co.

We see Deere as well-positioned to benefit from long-term trends toward increased crop production and consumption. The stock is cheap trading at 10.5 times earnings, has a dividend yield of 2 per cent and trades at price-to-book value of 3 times.

Target Corp.

Target operates general merchandise discount stores in North America. The stock has suffered lately over its expansion into Canada and the security breach of their credit card information. Many of these seem to behind the company and with the continued positive economic growth in the U.S. we think the stock looks cheap. It trades at 13 times earnings and has a dividend yield of 2.8 per cent.

Past Picks: February 28, 2013

Regions Financial

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Then: $7.65 (U.S.); Now (Feb. 27): $10.57; Total return: +39.67%

Leon's Furniture Ltd.

Then: $12.05 (Cdn); Now (Feb. 27): $15.27; Total return: +30.72%

Bell Aliant Inc.

Then: $26.64; Now (Feb. 27): $26.49; Total return: +6.71%

Total return average: +25.70%

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