Tech fund manager is switching from Nasdaq stocks to Big Board


NEW YORK -- Daniel Leonard, who manages a technology fund at Invesco Trust Co., is playing it safe these days, focusing on established stocks.

Leonard said he is moving "away from the Nasdaq for the moment," preferring to look "at the New York Stock Exchange, larger-cap stocks, where we feel the earnings are more predictable."

A cautious strategy is crucial. "Because 1995 was such a great year, in terms of earnings growth," said the 21-year veteran of Invesco, "it's going to be very difficult to duplicate that."

Leonard's methods are working. His technology fund, which has customer assets of $771 million, has returned 26.27 percent, placing it third among the 25 technology funds tracked by Morningstar Inc.

Some of his favorite technology stocks are Electronic Data Systems, First Data Corp. and National Data Corp.

Leonard also manages the Invesco gold fund, which has assets of $513 million. For the past 12 months, it posted a return of 44.76 percent.

With Invesco's gold fund, the key issue is good results from the exploration. That news "gives us earnings in the future," he said. "That's what the gold stocks tend to move on."

Leonard's favorite gold stocks are a few small Canadian companies that have been "very, very aggressive exploration companies," he said. One of them is Bre-X Minerals Ltd in Calgary, which has a huge gold discovery in Indonesia.

Leonard has eased the pace at which he buys stocks in their initial public offerings.

"We have been a traditional IPO buyer," he said.

"It has become so saturated with weight that we've had to slow down a little bit. And we feel they're pushing their luck a little bit.

"I think we're getting to the point where some of them may not get done. And that's a symptom of having a tired market."

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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