Annual Review — Insurance, tech, and all the rest

Finishing up our "buy, sell or hold" survey of past "Idea of the month" stocks.

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 10, 2012

Today I’m filling in the updated thoughts on all the other stocks that are still in our semi-active universe of “Idea of the Month” picks from past years (ie, we haven’t dropped them for reaching a price target, or being dumb mistakes that have been crushed). These are, as with the rest of the updates we’ve shared as the annual review process continues, in our order of “likingness.” Early next week I’ll merge all of these comments into one article for you, in the same order, just so we have a record of this year’s opinion updates, but if you want to catch up a bit you can see the income picks here and here (that was a two-parter), the commodity picks here, and the emerging markets picks here.

And these are, of course, just my opinions at this time — that doesn’t mean that these stocks are right or wrong for your portfolio, or for mine (I have bought some picks recently that I’d label overall as a hold, and have sold some “buy” ideas because of my own personal portfolio needs and priorities). Some of these stocks end up getting a lot of attention from newsletters or I end up buying and selling them and writing about them throughout the year, others are stocks that have interesting fundamental stories but don’t necessarily get our attention between annual reviews (unless a lot of folks ask about them, or I notice something that changes my mind).

Flowserve (FLS) — Buy

Flowserve has been running hot for quite a while, with a nice run after we featured it following the Value Investing Congress back in October. My opinion of the company hasn’t changed, though it’s a slightly stretched valuation now that the shares have run up by 30% — but the strong recurring revenue and the excellent long-term prospects for this seller of pumps and valves still put the stock at a buy … with a caveat: they report earnings on February 22, and I’m always nervous to make investments before a big earnings announcement, so in cases like this I’d usually plan to stagger my purchases, buying half a position before earnings and half after unless I have reason to be particularly confident about how the stock will perform after the release (I have no idea in this case, and I don’t own this ...

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