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Latest Top Picks

Stock Opinions by Bruce Hartman

TOP PICK
A great conservative, stable way to participate in the telephone industry. Yields about 8%. Conservative payout ratio of about 90%. Possible increased distributions in the next year or so because of surplus cash flow. Have some interesting acquisition opportunities.
Utilities
PAST TOP PICK
(A Top Pick Apr 28/06. No change.) A great business model. Should continue to do well.
Transportation
PAST TOP PICK
(A Top Pick Apr 28/06. Down 7%.) A good yield play. Has the potential to make acquisitions from their US parent that would be accretive with possible distribution increases.
oil / gas
DON'T BUY
Announced they were selling their aluminum division which is a positive step. Still feels they are involved in too many business lines.
wholesale distributors
DON'T BUY
Ideal business trust has stability, lack of competition and a payout ratio below 100%. This one exhibits none of those characteristics. Their market is highly dependent on construction/contractors, so any slowdown in housing will hurt. Payout ratio is well over 100%. 18% yield indicates a possible cut.
misc industrial products
DON'T BUY
Merging with Sequoia Oil & Gas Trust and will be known as Evergreen Energy Trust. It looked like a good deal at the beginning but terms have been changed because of production problems. That is disquieting.
oil / gas
DON'T BUY
Merging with Daylight Energy Trust and will be known as Evergreen Energy Trust. It looked like a good deal at the beginning but terms have been changed because of production problems. That is disquieting.
oil / gas
BUY
Payout ratio is reasonable at 85%. Recession resistant business. Management has done a great job in acquiring/expanding landfill sites. Organic growth is good at around 6%. Made a big US acquisition and have integrated it extraordinarily well. Hedged their US currency exposure.
Transportation & Environmental Services
DON'T BUY
Has been hit when a number of pulp/paper mills have been shut down as they have been the supplier of sodium chlorate. Their big advantage is electricity costs. The price of sodium chlorate has remained relatively firm. There is a huge overhang because of the 61% ownership by Nexun.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS
WEAK BUY
Their business is primarily supplying heavy equipment to mining/oil and gas, forestry and construction industry. The Sobey family owns 27% of it. 30% of their tour revenues are earned from servicing equipment they have sold. May be reaching the peak of its earnings potential.
merchandising / lodging
PAST TOP PICK
(A Top Pick Jan 20/06. Up 9.6%.) Still likes it. Have increased distributions.
Transportation
DON'T BUY
Contract for printing lottery tickets for New York State will terminate in June. Hoping to replace it with a contract with Ontario. Have been very creative in developing new lottery type products. Competition is two large US companies so there are political concerns.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS
TOP PICK
One of the largest midstream gas processors operating in western Canada. The primarily process sour gas and have a real technological advantage in their process. Yields 6.2%. A growth trust.
oil / gas
TOP PICK
New trust in March/06. Payout ratio of about 75%. Yield is about 9.2%. Like its business model. They basically have configured fleets to serve specific customers and are dedicated to those customers.
Transportation
HOLD
Continues to see the REIT sector is a good growth area. This one represents stable growth. (Management is targeting 5% a year.) Prefers Calloway (CWT.UN-T) which has about the same yield but represents a higher growth rate.
property mngmnt / investment
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