Investment Dartboard: Industrials Top Pros, Luck, Posting Gains
Apr. 06, 1995
The winner in this column's latest stock-picking contest between investment professionals and the forces of chance was the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The industrial average, which has been setting records regularly in recent weeks, rose 7.3 percent between Oct. 12 and the end of March. Meanwhile, four stocks chosen by tossing darts at the stock tables posted an average gain of 3.8 percent, and the stocks selected by four investment professionals fell an average 14.8 percent.
Only one of the pros picked a money maker. Andrew Addison, a technical market analyst and editor of Addison Report, an investment newsletter in Franklin, Mass., picked Triton Energy Corp. Triton, an oil and natural gas exploration and production company in Dallas, jumped 20 percent, giving Mr. Addison his third first-place finish.
In second place was Sally Anderson, of Kopp Investment Advisors of Edina, Minn., whose pick of Stanford Telecommunications Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., maker of digital components and subsystems, fell 4.6 percent.
Top performers among the dartboard selections were Storage Equities Inc., a Glendale, Calif., real-estate investment trust that invests primarily in mini-warehouses, and Jones Apparel Group Inc., a New York clothing manufacturer. The stocks rose 19.3 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.
But even after the latest results, the pros remain comfortably ahead of both the darts and the Dow Jones average in this series of overlapping six-month competitions. In 58 contests since current rules were adopted in July 1990, the pros have bested the darts 33 times. They're ahead of the Dow by a score of 31 to 27.
When actual investment performance is compared, the pros look even better. They've posted an average six-month gain of 7.7 percent over the 58 contests, compared with 3.5 percent for the darts and 3.9 percent for the industrial average.
As is the custom of this column, the pros who finished in first and second place in the latest contest have been invited back. Joining Mr. Addison and Ms. Anderson for the coming six months will be Seth M. Glickenhaus, senior partner and chief investment officer of Glickenhaus & Co., a New York money-management firm, and Ronald E. Elijah, portfolio manager of Robertson, Stephens & Co.'s Value Plus Growth Fund in San Francisco.
Mr. Addison's selection is Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., a gold and silver mining company in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho _ and the only nontech stock picked by the pros in the current contest.
``I'm bullish on the outlook for silver and gold prices, more so for silver,'' Mr. Addison says. ``This is one of the few companies that mines both, and its production is slanted toward silver.''
Mr. Addison predicts that silver prices will rise to about $7 in the next 12 months from $5.41 currently, and gold will go to $425 from $397 in six months, in response to increased demand. ``This is not an inflationary move,'' he says.
There is more demand for precious metals from Asia, especially from the new middle class in China, for jewelry and for investment, he says. And dollar weakness and concerns about unstable currencies are encouraging some investors to ``diversify out of paper assets,'' he says, and ``we're entering a period of seasonal strength in gold and silver prices.''
Coeur d'Alene's stock could reach $25 to $28 a share by the time this contest ends Sept. 30, Mr. Addison says. It now trades at around $19.375 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ms. Anderson, competing in her seventh contest after one first place and five second place finishes, is going with DSC Communications Corp., a Plano, Texas, maker of a broad range of telecommunications systems and equipment. ``It's a play on telecommunications infrastructure building,'' she says, ``which has been a strong area for the last couple of years and will be for a few years to come.''
Local telephone companies are moving to add services, cable-television companies soon may be offering phone service and long-distance carriers are looking for ways to reach customers more efficiently, she says. All of those factors will contribute to DSC's growth, she figures. ``No matter who wins the battle to provide service, they'll have to buy equipment,'' she says.
What's more, she adds, the international market is growing as emerging countries improve telephone service and government-owned systems in Europe are privatized. She says DSC's revenue and earnings could grow as much as 25 percent a year. DSC's stock, which currently trades at around $32.25 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market, could be at $45 in six to nine months, she says.