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Eat Drink Outlooks

Posted by: Lauren Young on November 20, 2006

This is the time of year when every mutual fund company and investment bank holds its 2007 outlook sessions. The events typically take place over a meal at a swanky restaurant or hotel.
I’ve attended three or four of these events—and I’m scheduled to go a half dozen more after Thanksgiving.

So far, I’d say the general consensus is that 2007 will be a great year for international stocks and larger companies. Over a lunch at the St. Regis Hotel, David Antonelli of MFS waxed poetic on foreign companies. He likes foreign stocks because they are cheaper than their U.S. counterparts, and the earning prospects are good, if not better. He’s bullish on Japan because prices are rising, particularly for rentals in the real estate market.

At another dinner hosted by an unnamed asset management company (the event was on background), a value manager told me she’s really excited about the deals in large-company stocks, and thinks 2007 could finally be the year for big companies to shine.

I’ve also been meeting with fund managers individually to see what they’ve got up their sleeve for 2007. During a lunch last week, Wendell Perkins of the Johnson Family of Funds, said he’s also bullish on international stocks. He is a big fan of Quest Diagnostics, and he says the company has been unfairly punished for standing up to UnitedHealthcare amid a recent contract dispute. Pay attention to Perkins: This is a man who eats tuna tartare.

Today Mark Coffelt, manager of the all-cap Texas Value & Growth fund came by, and guess what? In the past four months, he’s shifted about half of his go-anywhere fund into international names, including Sanofi-Aventis ADR, Diageo PLC ADR, and ABN-AMRO Holding NV ADR.

Grab your passport.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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