Past stocks of the year maintain their appeal

Article Excerpt

When we single out stocks of the year, we zero in on those that offer a “heads-you-win-tails-you-break-even” advantage. Even so, no investment comes with a true guarantee. All three of our 2018 top picks struggled last year—along with the rest of the market. Despite those declines, all could rebound sharply in 2019. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. $133 (New York symbol IBM, Conservative Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 908.8 million; Market cap: $120.9 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.5; Dividend yield: 4.7%; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; is one of the world’s largest computer companies, with operations in over 175 countries. In response to slowing demand for its traditional mainframe computers and related services, IBM is aggressively shifting into faster-growing fields. They include cloud computing services (the storage of files and programs using the Internet) and analytics software (including its Watson supercomputer) to process increasingly large amounts of data. As part of that strategy, IBM will now buy Red Hat Inc. (New York symbol RHT). That…

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