Like other Fool contributors, each month I share my best stock to buy for the coming month. Now that 2019 is almost over, it could be interesting to review how my 12 top stocks have actually fared since the start of the year. So, here is a short review of my monthly picks’ performance. As a reference point, the TSX has returned 18.7% year to date.
The first stock I suggested, in January, was Alimentation Couche-Tard. The stock has soared 26.4% year to date. So, the convenience store operator was clearly a good pick. This defensive stock usually performs well when there is a lot of volatility on the markets, so I expect it to continue to do well in 2020.
For February, my top stock was Algonquin Power & Utilities. The stock has been rising steadily all year. With a return near 40%, the renewable energy company has beat the TSX by a wide margin. Utilities are always nice to have during uncertain times.
In March, I recommended buying Quebecor. The stock has risen 16.5% year to date, which is close to the TSX. Most of this return has been realized in the last two months. The media conglomerate has low volatility, so this stock could perform better if the market is plunging, which could be the case in 2020.
CannTrust Holdings was my top stock for April. Unfortunately, the stock has plunged by 83%. In July, we learned that CannTrust has been involved in an illegal growth scandal. This kind of event is hard to predict. That’s why it’s important to diversify among stocks and sectors.
My best stock for May was Fiera Capital, an asset management firm. Its performance for the year isn’t stellar, with a return of 6.6% year to date. However, things have been getting better recently as the return for the last three months is about 9%. The stock is very cheap with a five-year PEG of 0.6. The dividend yield of 7.5% is very interesting for people looking for income.
In June, my top stock was goeasy, a seller and financier of household goods. This stock almost doubled in value since the start of the year. goeasy is a great alternative to banks if you’re looking for a high-growth stock in the financial sector.
I suggested Dollarama in July. The dollar store chain has fared very well, soaring 38.8%. Shoppers are spending more at Dollarama stores, as same-store sales keep beating analysts’ estimates. The retailer expects full-year comparable-store sales growth in the range of 3.5-4.5%.
In August, my best stock was Neptune Wellness Solutions, a wellness and nutrition products company. The stock has returned 12% year to date. Neptune had much bigger losses than analysts expected. The situation should improve next year, as the company is expected to report a profit and a big jump in sales.
Barrick Gold was my top stock for September. The gold stock has performed pretty well, soaring 27% year to date. The world’s second-largest gold miner beat estimates in the third quarter with an adjusted profit of US$0.15 per share vs. a forecast of US$0.12. It has been a good year in general for gold stocks, as the price of gold has risen. Gold is a good hedge against inflation, so it’s good to have some exposure.
My best stock to buy in October was Silvercorp Metals. This silver stock has soared 153% year to date, making it the best-performing stock among my top stocks. With a PEG of only 0.07, I expect the silver producer to perform well in the years to come.
National Bank of Canada was November’s top pick. This bank stock has returned 32% year to date, which is much better than the Big Five banks returns. EPS has beat expectations in the last two quarters, thanks to a booming Quebec economy.
Last but not least, my top stock for December was AutoCanada, an automobile dealership group. The stock has soared almost 23% year to date. Most of this return has been realized in the last three months, as the stock rose 64% over that period. AutoCanada expects its U.S. operations to be profitable in 2020.
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Fool contributor Stephanie Bedard-Chateauneuf owns shares of ALIMENTATION COUCHE-TARD INC, DOLLARAMA INC, and QUEBECOR INC., CL.B, SV. The Motley Fool recommends ALIMENTATION COUCHE-TARD INC and CannTrust Holdings Inc.