Best Stock Picks

Dear Mr. Berko: Please recommend about 10 stocks that are not well-known on Wall Street, are seldom touted by research departments and have, in your opinion, good appreciation potential over the next 18 to 24 months. I’m comfortable with low to moderate risk. — DB, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Dear DB: My friend Ossie Ollum, an old college classmate I’ve kept in touch with, thinks he’s a stock maven. He gave me a bunch of issues last week and told me to watch them for a year. He believes that this portfolio could provide a 33 percent total return in 18 months. I chose nine issues. I’ll profile the others next week.

Tailored Brands (TLRD-$23.47) is a specialty apparel retailer that owns Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, Joseph Abboud plus 40 retail dry cleaning, laundry and heirlooming facilities. TLRD also sells work uniforms to the airline postal, banking and health care industries under its Twin Hill, Alexandra and Yaffy brands. The 72-cent dividend yields 3.1 percent. Improving revenue growth and good earnings should enable a dividend increase to 80 cents and a stock price increase to the $29-$30 level this year.

Boise Cascade (BCC-$42.15) is an integrated wood products manufacturer and building materials distributor. BCC also makes engineered wood products and plywood used in new homes and residential repairs. This was a $4.4 billion-revenue company in 2017 and may be a $4.7 billion one this year after a projected 19 percent increase in earnings, to $2.22 a share. BCC shares don’t pay a dividend, but they could readily trade in the high $40s to low $50s this year.

Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC-$30) is the world’s largest chicken processor, with $9.1 billion in revenues from chicken feet, livers, gizzards, wings, beaks (used in powdered form as an aphrodisiac), necks, eyeballs and tongues. And the feathers, after being cleaned, are used in pillows and blankets. The eyes are used decoratively. There’s no dividend, but an anticipated 21 percent improvement in 2018 earnings might spur PPC to trade in the low $40s.

Covenant Transportation Group (CVTI-$29) is a provider of expedited long-haul freight transportation, using two-person travel teams in transcontinental lanes. CVTI’s $700 million worth of activities also include refrigerated cross-border regional brokerage. Though it doesn’t pay a dividend, improved metrics this year may give it a $36-$37 price tag.

Oshkosh (OSK-$92) makes and markets commercial fire and emergency apparatus and military trucks under the Oshkosh, Pierce and McNeilus trademarks. OSK is a $7 billion-revenue company with operations in Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden. Future earnings look impressive, and the shares are making new highs. Many are looking for earnings and sales growth to accelerate in the next two years, perhaps pushing the price to $125. The 84-cent dividend yields 0.91 percent.

Posco (PKX-$83) is a $50 billion-revenue South Korean iron and steel company, the third-largest in the world. The $2 dividend yields 2.6 percent, and analysts say it could be $2.90 in three years if earnings reach $12 a share on $160 billion in revenues. PKX could trade at $220 by 2021.

Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN-$61) is a $4.5 billion distributor of residential and commercial roofing products in the U.S. and Canada. Various acquisitions have tripled revenues and actually improved net profit margins by 21 percent. This is a small, quiet growth company with a $28 target range in 18 months.

Greencore Group (GNCGY-$12) is home-ported in Dublin, which is the wealthiest capital in the world. GNCGY sells food products primarily from the U.K. Its food is a real gustatory experience. The 25-cent dividend paid from 83 cents in share earnings is expected to rise this year, and the stock could trade in the high teens.

Triton International (TRTN-$38) acquires, leases, re-leases and sells intermodal containers. The $1.80 dividend yields 5.9 percent, and revenues are rising. TRTN’s equipment consists primarily of dry freight containers, refrigerated containers, tank containers and chassis, and the stock has a first-year target of $47.

Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at mjberko@yahoo.com. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.



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