Stocks Paul Ryan Would Pick
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles that will be appearing on Benzinga.com over the next few months.
Based on Paul Ryan's sentiments and personal history, the following companies would make a nice, diverse portfolio for vice presidential nominee. Shares of the following companies might benefit should he and Mitt Romney be elected into the White House in November 2012.
Paul Ryan's father died of a heart attack at 55, and his grandfather and great-grandfather fell victims to fatal heart attacks at 57 and 59, respectively. In his best interest, Ryan has made good health practices a priority and he would likely support drug makers that manufacture aids for lowering blood cholesterol and stabilizing plaque in arteries.
Lipitor was first manufactured in 1985 and is one of Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) best sellers (also holding title for the best selling drug in history). Since the expiration of the drug's patent, the generic producer Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI) has witnessed a steady increase in the value of its shares, rallying from a low of $55 per share in early 2012 to the current high near $82.90. The release of the patent has had Pfizer experiencing slower growth, as it sits below its 2012 high of $24.49.
Ryan might be bearish on Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) based on the company's recent findings that TRILOGY failed to meet its primary goal to slow memory decline in Alzheimer's patients. This follows another Eli Lilly faux pas: Solanezumab, which failed to meet its (revised) endpoint in its 2nd trial. These trial failures have not had a negative impact on shares, as year-to-date Eli Lilly has nearly reached its 52-week high and currently sits at $44.82. Analysts at Goldman Sachs do not predict any Food and Drug Administration (FDA) filings for the aforementioned drug based on recent results, despite some possible benefits of the drug in cognitive tests.
For those who have trouble adhering to the guidelines of a diet, stock picks from Ryan would include NutriSystem (NASDAQ: NTRI) and Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW), both of which are trading down 19.49 percent and 13.34 percent year-to-date, respectively. These dips in shares present a buying opportunity ahead of the 2012 holiday season, as the values typically spike after the first of the year when consumers decide to follow New Year resolutions and attempt to lose all of the extra holiday pounds.
As a former burger-flipping employee, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) has a special place in Ryan's heart as a way to earn a living and follow in the footsteps of his elders. Year-to-date, McDonald's stock is down 10.93 percent and analysts at Oppenheimer believe the downward trend has presented a buying opportunity for the stock.
Last but not least, Ryan is a supporter of for-profit colleges such as Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL), which operates the University of Phoenix, American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI), Lincoln Educational Services (NASDAQ: LINC), Career Education (NASDAQ: CECO) and DeVry (NYSE: DV) as the educational companies, (despite speculation over usefulness), had $32 billion taxpayer dollars invested in them during the 2009-10 fiscal year. This amounted to 25 percent of the total Department of Education student aid program funds.
Year-to-date, each of these stocks are down 51.31, 22.9, 47.85, 51.4 and 59.85 percent, respectively. Investment opportunities are abound, as consumers may follow suit much like the diet-option stocks and decide to enroll in post-secondary education programs after making New Year resolutions.
Ryan's vision for education policies are said to reduce funding and privatize institutions, and with his potential influence in the White House, these stocks could see a considerable benefit to these sentiments.
Paul Ryan's portfolio may span several different sectors, but diversity in a portfolio is key. Genetics, biology, education and personal health all stand to benefit from his entrance into the White House with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as each field these companies represents may hold increasingly important value come November 2012.
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