Take it from the top
With U.S. stocks in the sixth year of a bull market, and trembling over the Russian economic collapse as we go to press, a more cautious approach than chasing small-cap companies seems wise. We decided to shake up our hot stocks feature by focusing on prospects for the state’s 10 biggest public companies, whose shares are held widely and traded frequently by North Carolina investors. We limited our four investment advisers to those stocks. Picking favorites, two chose Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., the worst performer over the last five years, and two selected VF Corp., the Greensboro apparel company that was second-best among the top 10. Two experts rated Red Hat Inc. the least attractive, though analysts who track it are very bullish on the Raleigh tech company.
To be sure, some stock pickers truly have the touch. Jim Morgan, the former Interstate/Johnson Lane Inc. CEO turned Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. chairman, won The Wall Street Journal’s contest a record number of times before the newspaper ended the feature. Edgerton, who says he knows more about more public companies than anyone alive, picked our biggest gainers in 2013 and 2014. Not surprisingly, he thinks we shouldn’t have limited his options this year. Maybe we’ll go back to the old way in 2016. But if you can’t wait that long and need that hot-stock fix, Edgerton suggests you take a look at root9B Technologies Inc., a Charlotte-based cybersecurity consultancy that was trading for about $1.10 per share.