buy, sell or hold, they're on the money

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    Buy, sell or hold, they're on the money
    By ANTHONY BLACK, Sunday Herald

    GLOBAL miner Rio Tinto was a buy at $41.25 on January 23 and it was recommended by stockbroker Sean Conlan, of Macquarie Equities.

    By April 3, Rio Tinto was priced at $45.50 and again Mr Conlan advised investors to buy the stock.

    Mr Conlan said this about Rio in April: "Our outlook for the resources sector favours companies with exposure to bulk commodities. About 50 per cent of Rio's divisional profit in the 2005-06 financial year is expected to be generated by the iron ore business."

    On Friday, Rio finished at $62.21 a share.

    Each week, Australia's finest brokers and analysts recommend stocks to buy, hold and sell to Sunday Herald Sun readers.

    They make calls based on a company's outlook, profits, executive appointments, company guidance, market expectations, corporate activity, economic data and analysis and the latest news.

    Stefan Whiting, of ABN AMRO Morgans, placed a buy recommendation on building materials group Rinker when it was $11.08 on April 24. It finished at $15.40 a share on Friday.

    Marcus Padley, of Marcus Today, suggested investors buy Leighton Holdings at $10.20 on April 17. The stock closed at $17.30 a share on Friday.

    Michael Heffernan, of F.W. Holst, recommended United Group as a buy at $7.55 on February 27. It closed at $10.91 a share on Friday.

    On the same date, he said, The Reject Shop was a buy at $3.24. It closed at $4.28 a share on Friday.

    Mr Heffernan recommended the Australian Stock Exchange as a buy at $25.70 on July 31. It finished at $32.10 a share on Friday.

    Oil stocks have risen in line with a barrel of crude soaring to $US70, before falling back into the $US60s and $US50s.

    Carl Daffy, of Wilson HTM, recommended Woodside Petroleum at $21.50 on February 20.

    "Investors looking for genuine exposure to the energy sector should buy Woodside Petroleum, one of Australia's leading oil and gas producers," he said.

    "Woodside is a well-managed company, with quality reserves on the doorstep of burgeoning Asian economies."

    Woodside Petroleum finished at $34.60 a share on Friday.

    Oil refiner Caltex was priced at $13.40 when Scott Pape, of E.L. & C. Baillieu, recommended it as a buy on February 27. Mr Pape said Caltex would benefit from improving operating margins. It finished at $21.20 a share on Friday.

    A higher gold price has been good for several stocks.

    Elizabeth Lang, of Austock, suggested investors hold Lihir Gold at $1.12 on March 20 as it offered "great leverage to the gold price and will move with it". Lihir Gold finished at $2.13 a share on Friday.

    Mike Kendall, of Goldman Sachs JBWere, recommended Newcrest Mining when it was priced at $14.81 on May 1.

    "We believe the market will begin to recognise the company's outstanding earnings potential driven by world class assets," he said.

    Newcrest Mining closed at $20.67 a share on Friday.

    Several health-related and diversified financial stocks have rewarded investors this year.

    Sue Dalrymple, of Lands Kirwan Tong, recommended private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care at $7.14 on February 27. It finished at $9.80 on Friday.

    Mr Daffy recommended drug company Sigma when it was $8.39 on June 5. It finished at $13.12 a share on Friday. He recommended investment company Babcock & Brown at $10.52 on February 20. It finished at $17.60 a share on Friday.

    Brokers recommended investors sell stocks based on profit warnings, write-downs, debt concerns, poor management decisions, falling dividends, increasing costs, unfavourable currency movements and profit taking.

    On occasions, a buy recommendation has not lived up to expectations and a sell tip has shot up.

    But share tipping is not an exact science and investing in stocks carries risk.

    Analysts put forward considered judgments, but investors should seek advice then make their own calls.

    After all, it's your money.

    Ain't that the truth!!!

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