Table: How The Pros' 2003 Picks Fared

In December, 2002, BusinessWeek Online carried 28 stock recommendations for the new year from a panel of Wall Street pros. The picks returned an average of 27.6%, beating the Standard & Poor's-500 stock index, which delivered 23%. A full 24 of the 28 picks made money, and 15 beat the market. Three stocks even doubled. But one pick proved that investors must always mind their portfolios: Surebeam plunged 94% as it went through a series of debacles, starting with an executive resignation and continuing with firings of two auditors, questioning by the Securities & Exchange Commission, and delisting by Nasdaq.

Jeffrey M. Applegate's picks

Average Return: 31.6%

vs. S&P 500: + 8.6 points

COMPANY SYMBOL TOTAL RETURN* VS. S&P 500**
AT&T Wireless AWE 11.2% -11.8
Bed Bath & Beyond BBBY 26.1% 3.1
Citigroup C 35.6% 12.6
Coventry Health CVH 108.8% 85.8
Microsoft MSFT 2.4% -20.6
Pfizer Inc. PFE 14.9% -8.1
Sysco SYY 22.0% -1.0

Joan E. Lappin's Picks

Average Return: 23.6%

vs. S&P 500: + 0.6 points

Comcast CMCSA 39.0% 16
GlobalSantaFe GSF -2.6% -25.5
Nextel NXTL 109.6% 86.6
Providian PVN 88.9% 65.9
Surebeam SURE -94.5% -117.5
Tesco TESOF -22.7% -45.7
Univision UVN 47.7% 24.7

Tobias M. Levkovich's Picks

Average Return: 27.4%

vs. S&P 500: + 4.4 points

American Intl. AIG 5.7% -17.3
AmerisourceBergen ABC 8.4% -14.6
Home Depot HD 32.4% 9.4
Lennar LEN 103.3% 80.3
Lockheed Martin LMT -0.4% -23.4
Pfizer PFE 14.9% -8.1
Wells Fargo WFC 27.7% 4.7

David J. Winters' Picks

Average Return: 27.4%

vs. S&P 500: + 4.4 points

Berkshire Hathaway BRK/A 17.4% -5.6
BP BP 22.5% -0.5
Canadian Natl. Rail CNI 40.9% 17.9
Groupe Danone DA 22.8% -0.2
Imperial Tobacco ITY 22.8% -0.2
Nestle NSRGY 18.8% -4.2
White Mountains WTM 46.2% 23.2

* From Dec. 13, 2002 through Dec. 12, 2003

** Difference in percentage points

DATA: FactSet Research Systems

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