There is a lot to be said for value-based investment strategies as the year-to-date performance of The Daily Telegraph Questor column's six picks for 2014 show. They have held up despite market turbulence. The old stock market saying "never sell Shell" held true once again, with the shares
delivering a total return of 16%, well ahead of the market. Bellway's performance has been less impressive, but the builder is growing earnings and dividends by more than 20% and offers a yield of 3.2%. The shares remain a buy.
GlaxoSmithKline has suffered from the bribery allegations in China, which could yet do serious damage. However, the fundamentals remain intact. The group is set to generate over $5bn in free cash flow this year, more than covering its dividend payments. Furthermore, data on final-stage testing for 13 drugs is expected within the next 12 months and the shares trade at a discount to peers Novartis and Astrazeneca. "We are sticking with GSK," Questor says.
Shares in Hyder Consulting have done well. The investment column thought the firm might make an attractive target for a takeover and so it was. The stock plummeted following a profit warning but duly bounced back as a bidding war ensued between Dutch rival Arcadis and Japanese engineer Nippon Koei.
Microchip manufacturer CSR was selected as its Bluetooth Smart technology might be employed in the new wearable devices which are set to reach the market, such as Google Glass, Nike+ Fuelband and Samsung watches. The shares were dragged down by this year's technology sell-off but Questor is holding firm.
Volkswagen stock has struggled, taking a hit from the slowdown seen in the French and German economies but on a price-to-earnings ratio of nine times they still offer excellent value, are at a 10% discount to sector peers and offer a dividend yield of 2.3%.
"With company profits and stock market valuations near record highs there is little margin for error in the second half but Questor remains confident these value picks will deliver," the column says.
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