Knights Of The Roundtable

Here's how our panel of experts fared this past year

They came. They foresaw. And, by and large, they conquered. Last year, BE gathered up 13 stock picks from four panelists on our investment roundtable. How well did they do? The answer: fairly well–a 10.9% gain dating from July 18 of last year. Of our panelists, Rob Lamb led the pack, with a 30.9% gain. He did produce one extra pick, however, that helped cover for a major drop in another pick, Metacreations. Nathaniel Carter placed second, with a 26% gain in his portfolio. Dawna Edwards came in third, with a 3.8% gain; and last, Barbara Bowles, who provided two good picks, saw her overall portfolio slip 23.9%.

The best stocks of the pack–Kmart, Cisco Systems and Cutter & Buck–did outstandingly well, all rushing off to 56% or greater gains. And as is too often the case, there were some major problems, namely MedPartners (Barbara Bowles says it’s best to sell the stock), First Data Corp. (Wall Street analysts currently rate the stock a “hold,” a signal to stand pat for a bit), and finally Metacreations, which rates a “sell” according to Zacks Investment Research. Nathaniel Carter says that even though John Deere has lagged, it remains a good stock. And Charles Schwab currently rates a “hold,” according to Zacks. Also, says Bowles, Illinois Central, which was taken over by Canadian National Railway, can remain in your portfolio.

Stock (Exchange: Symbol)

Current

Price*

Price at

Recommendation

Gain

Current Value

of $1,000

Investment

Est. 5-Year Annual

EPS Growth

BARBARA BOWLES
Pittson Brinks (NYSE: PZB) $35.50 $32.44 9.4% $1,094 17.4%
Illinois Central (NYSE: IC) 34.58** 34.88 -0.9 991 10.0
Med Partners (NYSE: MDM) 4.56 23.19 -80.3 197 20.5
NATHANIEL CARTER
Kmart (NYSE: KM) 16.69 10.69 56.1 1,561 14.8
John Deere (NYSE: DE) 42.50 57.25 -25.8 742 10.8
American Express (NYSE: AXP) 112.81 76.38 47.7 1,477 13.9
DAWNA EDWARDS
First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) 29.44 44.00 -33.1 669 16.5
General Electric (NYSE: GE) 92.00 71.50 28.7 1,287 13.4
General Nutrition (Nasdaq: GNCI) 30.00 25.88 15.9 1,159 20.8
ROBERT LAMB
Metacreations (Nasdaq: MCRE) 4.75 11.00 -56.8 432 24.3
Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) 97.50*** 76.50 91.2 1,912 29.2
Cutter & Buck (Nasdaq: CBUK) 26.13 16.50 58.4 1,584 25.0
Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCH) 40.50*** 46.44 30.8 1,308 20.8
*As of 7/27/98.

** Reflects merger with Canadian National Railway Co.

***Reflects stock split.

EPS growth rates from Zacks Investment Research

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