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Three top stock picks from Contra The Heard’s Benj Gallander

Benj Gallander.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe & Mail

Benj Gallander is president of Contra the Heard Investment Letter. His focus is contrarian investing.

Top Picks:

Harmony Gold

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Gold stocks have been severely beaten and Harmony is no exception. This is a major company with experienced management. It was purchased for less than one-third of book value. Initial sell target: $16.14 (U.S.)

Capstone Infrastructure

Infrastructure is critical. This company has invested in hydro, wind, biomass, solar and water. The payout was cut to $0.30, still fat for investors but a much more reasonable level. An excellent takeover candidate. Initial sell target: $8.74.

Rona Pref. A

Rona appears to be undergoing a major turnaround. The preferred at this level offer an excellent dividend and the likelihood of capital appreciation.

Past Picks: February 20, 2013

AgJunction Inc. (formerly: Hemisphere GPS)

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Then: $0.82; Now: $1.07; Total return: +30.49%

Orange S.A (formerly: France Telecom)

Then: $10.08; Now: $12.70; Total return: +33.72%

Flextronics

Then: $6.60; Now: $9.10; Total return: +37.88%

Total return average: +34.03%

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Market outlook:

Many badly beaten-down stocks have had a dramatic rise since the recession. Certainly there are far less bargains than a few years ago. Still, many investors who were afraid of investing in stocks are now afraid of only obtaining desultory returns in GICs and are herding back into the market.

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