5 Stocks Our Experts Are Buying Now

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It's extremely rare for individual investors to get a peek into a professional's portfolio without having to give up anything in return. That's the premise, however, behind our Rising Star Portfolios. By following along, you get to see the trades our analysts plan on making before they actually make them.

Below are five of the most recent buys by our analysts, along with the thesis behind their purchases. Add these stocks to your watchlist to get all the latest news on them. Make it to the end and you'll have access to a special report detailing five more stocks The Motley Fool owns.

Pacer International (NAS: PACR)
This shipping and transportation company was a recent pick of Alex Pape. He doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to the market's perception of the company -- the market hates it. After it lost its largest customer in Union Pacific (NYS: UNP) , many think the company will soon become a zombie.

But that's where Alex sees opportunity, especially with the guidance provided by new CEO Dan Avramovich. "Whereas wholesale [its previous business model] had been all about high volume and standardized routes, retail [its new business model] was all about customized solutions for individual customers -- and those come with higher margins."

Dendreon (NAS: DNDN)
Jim Mueller originally added this biotech company after it disappointed the market with sobering news about its big product, prostate cancer drug Provenge. Now Jim's going back for second helpings.

Jim points out that worries about competition from Johnson & Johnson are abating, and the company is righting its ship: "Dendreon has since made several steps toward improving the [Provenge] situation, including cutting its workforce to reduce costs and educating prescribing physicians better on Medicare reimbursement."

Hertz (NYS: HTZ)
This is also analyst Jim Mueller's second helping of a company. Originally, Jim tapped this car-rental company as a good investment because it was expanding its offerings beyond the standard airport desks and buying more used (not new) cars in the process to save money.

Six months later, the thesis is the same, but the price is even better: "With shares down substantially from when I purchased them, little change to the priced-in expectations, and a still-intact thesis, I'm comfortable bringing this back up to a full, but small, position," says Jim.

Supervalu (NYS: SVU)
As if Jim hasn't given us enough food for thought, he offers up one more recent buy. Don't be mistaken, Jim doesn't think this business is best in its brand by any means, he just believes that there's a huge disconnect between market expectations and reality:

The thesis for SUPERVALU involved a big disconnect between what the equity market and the debt market were expecting. That hasn't changed, given current expectations. Furthermore, the company was in the midst of a turnaround, going from "terrible" to "merely bad."

Icon (NAS: ICLR)
Our last recommendation comes from special-situations expert Michael Olsen. He's recommended buying shares of Icon twice. The company is in the business of late-stage contract research for drug companies, and it hasn't been helped out lately by its geographical location: Ireland. The market views anything associated with Europe pessimistically right now.

But Michael sees reason for optimism: "In the past year, Icon has signed strategic agreements to run trials for Pfizer (NYS: PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb. These contract awards aren't blips, but two in a marked trend in which large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies outsource elements of their R&D to trusted partners."

  • Add Icon to My Watchlist.

Five more that aren't out there for everyone to see
If these ideas appeal to you, I hope you check back regularly to see what our Rising Stars are up to. If you'd like access to five ideas that aren't readily available for public consumption, I suggest you check out our special free report: "5 Stocks The Motley Fool Owns -- And You Should Too." Inside, you'll find out about five companies our analysts hand-picked, and the Fool backed with its own money. The report is absolutely free, so get your copy today!

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. You can follow him on Twitter at @TMFStoffel. The Motley Fool owns shares of SUPERVALU, Hertz Global Holdings, Johnson & Johnson, Icon, Pacer International, and Dendreon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer; creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson; and buying calls in SUPERVALU. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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