Markets & Finance

Two New Members for the S&P Top Ten


On Dec. 4, Standard & Poor's equity research group made changes to the S&P Top 10 portfolio -- those issues it considers to be the best candidates for capital gains over the next 6 to 12 months. S&P replaced Martek Biosciences (MATK

; recent price, $60) and Corinthian Colleges (COCO

; $55) with Landstar System (LSTR

; $36) and Hologic (HOLX

; recent price, $15).

Like all the stocks in the portfolio, Landstar and Hologic carry S&P's highest investment ranking, 5 STARS (buy). Martek and Corinthian retain their 5-STARS rankings.

Landstar provides transportation services to shippers

throughout the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. S&P believes that Landstar's non-asset based, high return on investment business model makes it well positioned to benefit from an economic rebound. Our 12-month target price on Landstar is $48.

Hologic develops, manufactures and supplies diagnostic and medical imaging systems primarily serving the healthcare needs

of women. rebound. We view Hologic positively, based on growing use of its digital mammography systems. S&P's 12-month target price on the stock is $21.

Year-to-date through Nov. 30, the S&P Top Ten portfolio climbed 39.4%, vs. a gain of 22.3% for its benchmark, the S&P 500-stock index (both of these performances include dividends).

Here's the latest list:

S&P Top 10 Portfolio

Company

Price

(12/04/03 close)

12-Month Target

Investment Rationale

Affiliated Computer (ACS)

50.74

63

Long-term trend toward IT outsourcing

America West Holdings (AWA)

13.79

25

Outperforming peers; valuation

Barr Labs (BRL)

83.24

91

Superior earnings growth over the coming years

Comcast (CMCSA)

31.90

37

Increasing synergies from broadband acquisition

DR Horton (DHI)

43.86

56

Better-than-expected industry trends

Flextronics (FLEX)

15.13

21

Firming business, low valuation

Hologic (HOLX)

15.54

21

Cost controls and product focus; valuation

Intel (INTC)

33.54

42

Recovery in worldwide chip demand expected to drive growth

Landstar System (LSTR)

36.23

48

High returns on assets and equity

Lennar (LEN)

98.09

127

Favorable business model, sector strength

For more information about the Top 10 portfolio, please visit http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jun2002/pi20020617_8998.htm By Ken Shea and Robert Gold


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