Hefty telecom stocks capable of a comeback

The Ticker


RAGS TO RICHES? "Telecommunications stocks lie in ruins," says Andrew Sukawaty, former chief executive, Sprint Corp. "The declining telecom market took the good down with the bad, but some top wireless and cable stocks have the market heft to pull off strong comebacks, such as AT&T Corp., Cox Communications Inc., NTL Inc., Sprint Corp. and Vodafone Group."

WINNING WAY: "Here's a successful mutual fund strategy," says Sheldon Jacobs, fund specialist. "At year-end, buy that year's top stock fund. Hold it one year, then switch to the next year's best-performing fund. Over 25 years, this produced 21 percent annualized returns vs. a 15 percent gain for the average fund."

CHEERFUL NOTE: "Don't expect another disaster like the dot-com collapse any time soon," says Neil Eigen, investment adviser. "Technology may have a bumpy ride, but no sector is as overpriced as Internet stocks were before the plunge. This year expect falling interest rates, with stocks gaining 10 to 15 percent."

FIVE FAVORITES: Here are the top five holdings of the nation's approximately 225,000 investment clubs. In order: Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (Data from Better Investing, April)

WALL STREET WATCH: "We recommend Philip Morris Cos. for superior total return. With strong fundamentals, defensive appeal and an above-average 4.4 percent yield, this stock should hit $65 in 12 months." (S&P Outlook)

"By year-end, today's prices may look cheap, but caution remains in order. Trade carefully, buy on dips, use stop-loss orders, take profits early and hold some cash in reserve." (Smart Money)

"It ... seemed inconceivable a year ago, but many tech stocks now qualify as value stocks." (David Dreman, author, "Contrarian Investment Strategies")

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