Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stock Picks

Like almost everybody else, I have been losing money in the stock market over the past few weeks. However, I have also made some money, at least on paper. I bought some shares of Huntington Bancshares in July and they have more than doubled based on today's closing price.
I'm considering selling if the price holds up tomorrow. Huntington is a company I know, since I have had an account there for many years, at one of the branches in Columbus, Ohio. It is a
conservative, seemingly well-managed bank that managed to offload its subprime mortgages.

I listened to the July conference call and was impressed with the numbers provided by manage-
ment. Although Huntington operates in a tough area geographically, it seems to be weathering the economic storm. Considering that the stock was trading around 18 within the past 12 months or so and closed today at 11, it may have some further upside.

Last Friday I bought some shares of Sherritt International, a mining company listed on the TSX. I already owned some in my RRSP and had seen it drop from around 18 within the past year to $3.20. The company has a remarkably clean balance sheet and was recently named by Money Sense magazine as a buy for both growth and value. At the close of trading today it was up to $4.02. I'm undecided about taking a quick profit on the shares I bought last week, but may let it ride for a while. The shares in the RRSP cost $4 and change, so I have a ways to go to see a profit on them.

Even in these historically volatile times, there are some buys out there if you know your stocks and have been following them for a while.