By Ken Shea and Robert Gold
The -- representing S&P analysts' top picks for the year -- trailed its benchmark, the S&P 500 index, once again in August. For the month, the portfolio posted a loss of 2.3%, vs. a gain of 0.4% for the "500", both including dividends.
A number of portfolio stocks turned in strong performances for the month, including Mylan Labs (MYL ), up 17.6%, America West (AWA ), up 8.6%, Millennium Pharma (MLNM ), up 6.9%, Citigroup (C ), up 5.7%, and Bear Stearns (BSC ), up 5.4%. In particluar, Mylan and America West were able to bounce back from significant losses in the prior month.
But stellar performances from the leaders weren't sufficient to lift the entire PowerPicks group. The overall portfolio was weighed down by losses in Corinthian Colleges (COCO ), down 39.3%, Open Text (OTEX ), down 14.9%, Analog Devices (ADI ), down 12.4%, Intrado (TRDO ), down 12.0%, and Nextel Partners (TRDO ), down 10.3%.
Year to date through Aug. 31, the portfolio has beaten the "500" in 4 of 8 months, but has lagged its benchmark with a 3.2% decline on a total return basis, while the "500" was up 0.4%. Of the 40 portfolio stocks, 21 had beaten the "500" while 19 had underperformed the index.
About the S&P PowerPicks 2004 Portfolio
The portfolio represents the collective "best ideas" of the Standard & Poor's equity research staff.
Each of the most senior 40 industry analysts on S&P's equity research staff has chosen one of the stocks they follow as the best-positioned for superior growth. The S&P PowerPicks 2004 Portfolio is diversified across all the 10 S&P economic sectors comprising the S&P 500 index.
The portfolio is a "frozen" one, meaning it will undergo no changes throughout the entire year. The objective of the portfolio is to exceed the total return (capital appreciation plus dividends paid) generated by the S&P 500 index during the next 12 months.
For more on the S&P PowerPicks 2004 portfolio, please visit http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/dec2003/pi20031226_5517_pi071.htm
Shea is director of global equity research, and Gold a senior portfolio group analyst, for Standard & Poor's Equity Research