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Best Stock Picks of the Decade. How to Choose the Winners in the Stock Market

What do the best stock picks of the decade have in common? Would you have chosen these winners in the stock market for your portfolio? With the exception of Apple, they were very small companies at the start. Some were microcap stocks with a market capitalization of less than $300 million. They were also unknown companies, and received little publicity or name recognition in the financial press. These stocks were also more volatile than the stocks of established large-cap companies. Most important, every one of them is characterized by strong consistent revenue growth and earnings growth. Although all are successful, these companies are a diverse group of enterprises. The best stock picks of the decade demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity that builds and sustains business.

Use these guidelines when you choose the next winners in the stock market. In spite of the present climate of economic weakness, with disasters in the housing and financial sectors, the threat of inflation and possible higher interest rates, other extraordinary winners like these are right now building the base for a decade of spectacular stock returns. Check out these 10 best stock picks of the decade for clues to build your portfolio of rewarding stock investments.

Table of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Company Return
Symbol Stock
Hansen Natural21,201% HANS$24.4314.23$1.72
Asta Funding8,252%ASFI$8.205.67$1.44
Comtech Telecom4,246%CMTL$42.2315.212.78
Green Mountain Coffee3,455%GMCR$32.5444.15$.74
Clean Harbors3,378%CLHB$73.2126.58$2.56
Innodata Isogen3,135%INOD$3.0014.85$.20

Hanson Natural is The Best Stock Winner of the Decade

Hanson Natural is a happy investment story. The company makes non-alcoholic energy drinks. It enjoys a roaring success with its product Monster Energy and newer brand names like Lost, Joker Mad, Rumba and a coffee drink Java Monster. As the energy drink market grows, so Hansen Natural grows.

Back in 2003 Hansen stock sold at a split-adjusted $.75. Now selling at $28 a share, you would receive a return of 106% per year, every year. A $10,000 investment would be worth $373,000 today. In the meantime, the stock zoomed to $68 a share in October, 2007., before it dropped back to $28. Like many companies, its stock price has fallen seriously during the recent upheaval in the financial markets.

Hansen is still a winner with investors who appreciate a good growth stock. Revenues are growing at 15% and earnings per share are growing at 32%. It is gaining market share in the energy drink segment, despite competitors with many new energy drinks. Along with competitors Red Bull and Rockstar, Pepsi has Amp, No Fear, and Adrenaline Rush, Coca-Cola owns Full throttle and NOS and Anheuser-Busch offers its brand 180.

Asta Funding Is the Second Best Stock Pick of the Decade

Asta Funding is a debt collection company. It specializes in buying all kinds of consumer debt and collecting the money from the consumers. The company purchases, from banks and financial companies, consumer accounts that are in default. These distressed and non-performing receivables include MasterCard, Visa, other credit card accounts, telecommunications charge-offs and other receivables. In the past five years, Asta Funding has purchased about $10 billion in receivable balances.

Asta Funding is a volatile stock. The company went public in 1995. The stock began at10 cents a decade ago, moved up to $45 in May 2007.

During the current subprime crisis and consumer credit crunch, Asta Funding will find lots of bad debt to purchase, but collecting the accounts will be harder. Its debt portfolio is likely to experience more defaults than expected. Consequently, the stock has since fallen to $8. Because of its low starting point, the stock has gained 21,000% over the decade, so it still looks interesting. But shareholders who carried the stock this past year while it dropped from $45 to $8, and lost 82% of its value, would warn you away from it.

Celgene Corporation
  One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Celgene was originally a unit of Celanese Corporation and was spun off in 1986. Since then it has become a big biotech success story and a global biopharmaceutical company. The company discovers, develops and markets products for the treatment of cancer and other severe, immune, inflammatory conditions. The products are related to thalidomide, and are used for treatment of cancer. The company’s major products are THALOMID, which is thalidomide, and which is approved for the acute treatment of the cutaneous manifestations of moderate to severe erythema nodosum leprosum, as well as in combination with dexamethasone for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. REVLIMID has received FDA and EMEA approval in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. REVLIMID is also approved in the United States for the treatment of patients with transfusion-dependent anemi. Celgene also markets other drugs for the treatment of cancers.

New products in the Celgene pipeline are in trials to treat patients with various cancers, incurable hematological and solid tumor cancers, including multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic lymphocyte leukemia (CLL), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), glioblastoma, and ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer. The record of rapidly growing earnings and revenues was interrupted in March 2008 when Celgene reported a loss of $1.6 billion due to the write-off of non-recurring costs in connection with its acquisition of Pharmion. Since then, the company financials have been back on track.

Apple Inc. Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Apple designs and manufactures consumer electronics and software products. The products include the Macintosh personal computers, the iPod portable media players, and the iPhone. Apple also created iTunes, the revolutionary online music store. Apple's software products include the Mac OS X operating system, the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software, and Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio- and film-industry software products. The company sells its products in more than 200 retail stores in seven countries and in an online store. Apple products have unique design and functions that redefine their markets. The company has an enthusiastic following of both consumers and investors.

In 1997, Steve Jobs, a co-founder, returned to Apple to rescue the company from crippling loses. Since then the company has been an icon in the electronics world. Revenues and earnings have grown consistently. Now investors wonder if Apple can continue to turn out product innovations. Investors also worry that Steve Jobs might be irreplaceable.

Comtech Telecommunications
  One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Comtech Telecommunications has grown because of demand for its satellite earth stations. They are used by the U.S. military and by developing countries upgrading their communications infrastructure. Comtech communication products are used by satellite systems integrators, wireless and other communication service providers, defense contractors, military customers, manufacturers of copier and data storage products, and oil companies. The US Government is a major customer. Comtech sales have benefited from military action in the Middle East.

The company has 1228 employees. In spite of the stellar performance of its stock, Comtech Telecommunications is not well followed by Wal Street.

Daktronics, Inc. Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Daktronics makes programmable electronic signs, large screen video displays and electronic scoreboards. Most of their products use light-emitting diode, LED, technology. The company creates modular sets for stage performances like Brooks and Dunn, video and scoring systems for college football and basketball stadiums, like the New York Jets and Giants, airport flight displays, Olympics scoreboards, highway traffic signs and convention displays. Daktronics also sells sound systems for sports facilities and hoists and riggings for theaters and other entertainment and sports venues.

Daktronics was started by two professors of electrical engineering at South Dakota State University. The company began with the design and manufacture of electronic voting systems for state legislatures.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters roasts only high-quality Arabica coffees. The company specializes in organic, fair trade and specialty gourmet coffees. The company offers over 100 different coffee selections, including certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, estate, signature blends and flavored coffees that sell under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters brand and Newman’s Own Organics brand. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters offers one of the largest selections of double-certified Fair Trade organic coffees in the country. They supply Newman’s Own organic coffee to 600 MacDonalds in the northeast states.

In June 2006, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters acquired Keurig, Incorporated, a manufacturer of single-cup brewing systems. Green Mountain sells its single-cup Keurig brewers, plus coffee and tea in K-Cups. The K-cup is lined with a bio-plastic made from sugar – a 100% all natural and renewable resource. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters offers a broad selection of K-Cups for use in Keurig brewers, including Extra Bold coffees and Hot Cocoa as well as Newman’s Own Organics coffee and Celestial Seasonings tea brands, which are packaged and sold by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

The company began in 1981 as a small cafe in rural Vermont, roastiing coffee on its premises. It went public in 1993. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters contributes at least five percent of its pre-tax profit annually to support socially responsible initiatives and has a history of supporting social and environmental causes. The company has received many awards for its earth-friendly policies.

Clean Harbors, Inc. Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Clean Harbors was founded in 1980 by Alan S. McKim as a small tank cleaning business with four employees. It has grown to be one of the leading providers of environmental and hazardous waste management services. The company offers waste disposal, hazardous materials management, waste recycling and treatment. The company also provides vacuum services, emergency response and disaster recovery, transformer, tank cleaning and decontamination. Their expertise includes site decontamination, spill cleanup and recycling oil products. Clean Harbors also does steam cleaning, boiler cleanouts, chemical cleaning, dewatering, and specialty industrial cleaning processes.

Clean Harbors operates over 100 service locations, 6 incineration facilities, 9 commercial landfills, 6 wastewater treatment operations, 6 facilities for polychlorinated biphenyls (plastics), plus 20 facilities for transportation and storage.

Innodata Isogen Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Innodata Isogen, Inc. provides business services for companies that manage data. It offers knowledge process outsourcing services, as well as publishing and related information technology services. It provides editorial service, research and analysis, abstracting and indexing documents, technical writing, data conversion, digitizing and imaging, managing content and outsourcing business processes, consulting and transaction processing. These services help organizations create, manage, use and distribute information more effectively and economically. The company writes and edits content, performs research and analysis, makes abstracts and indexes of content, digitizes content, has has many related services.

Contracts are high six figures, and customers include Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Johns Hopkins, many famous universities worldwide, the Federal Reserve Board, the US Navy. LexisNexis, many publishing companies, US Department of Energy. Amazon, Nortel, Sun, etc.

With headquarters in New Jersey, Innodata Isogen employs 5000. Revenues are highly variable quarter to quarter and the stock is still not well followed by Wall Street.

Immucor, Inc. Is One of the Best Stock Picks of the Decade

Immucor Inc., headquartered in Georgia, was founded in 1982. The company develops, manufactures and sells various reagents and automated systems to test blood. Hospitals, clinical laboratories, and blood banks use its products. Its reagents are used in tests performed prior to blood transfusion to determine the blood group and type of patient and donor blood. The reagents also detect and identify blood group antibodies and platelet antibodies. The company also offers various instruments and instrument systems for automatic and semi-automatic blood tests. The automated Echo blood testing system, designed for use by blood donor centers and laboratories, is especially successful.

Recently Immucor bought BioArray Solutions, a company that makes molecular diagnostic systems to analyze blood DNA. The acquisition is expected to dilute earnings per share by $.20 for several years. The stock price fell back as a result of the announcement, but it has since resumed its upward trend.

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