Since it was inaugurated nearly 10 years ago, the Focus List of Dow Theory Forecasts newsletter (800-233-5922) has returned 173 percent, not counting dividends or transaction costs. That compares with just 146 percent for the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. Through June 15, the list, which currently includes 18 stocks, had gained 7 percent this year, compared with 2 percent for the S&P. In its June 21 issue, the newsletter lists five Focus List stocks that "have solid near-term growth prospects, reasonable valuations, and the ability to surpass consensus expectations." They are: Biomet Inc. (BMET), maker of hip and knee implants, with average annual earnings growth of 18 percent over the past five years; Bunge Ltd. (BG), "one of the three largest players in global agribusiness," riding the boom in India and China and trading at a price-to-earnings ratio, based on expected earnings for this year, of just 11; Citigroup Inc. (C), the diversified financial services company, with 200 million customers, a forward P/E of 11 and a dividend yield of 3.5 percent; Delphi Financial Group Inc. (DFG), offering "a diverse portfolio of employee-benefit products" and growing at double-digit rates, but also carrying a forward P/E of only 11; and Nike Inc. (NKE), the global sports gear company, concentrating now on Europe and Asia, with a P/E near the bottom of its five-year range. Check them out.
-- James K. Glassman