Stock picks and pans: APOL, SWY, AMZN, CHT, CHL, MDT, GLW, F, BTU

With the markets going deeper and deeper into bear territory, it may surprise some that BloggingStocks and others around the Web still find stocks to recommend, of companies that are faring better than most in this economy, or that are poised to benefit the most from a recovery. These are usually long-term investments in solid companies. Here are a few:

Apollo (APOL), the online education company, is the biggest business of its kind in the U.S. and it is benefiting from the dire situations in the jobs market. Revenue and profit were sharply higher it the last quarter, with an amazing margin. If the company posts a strong first quarter, the stock will move up sharply, says Doug McIntyre.
Safeway (SWY) is worth a review, says Joseph Lazarro. Safeway should benefit from the recent trend that has upper- middle-income households moving from expensive grocers and shopping at general ones, such as Safeway.

Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle is "the first bold step in what will likely become the salvation of publishing," says Bruce Watson. The Kindle sold out within six hours of its initial release. It then sold out again last year, and analysts are predicting it will generate as much as $1.4 billion in sales by 2010 with the new model(s).

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and China Mobile (CHL) are Yiannis Mostrous two top choices to capitalize as the Asian economies should be able to move even closer to their ultimate economic goal: domestic demand-led economies. Chunghwa is the leading integrated telecom service provider in Taiwan and ChinaMobile is one of the largest mobile service providers in the world.

Medtronic Inc. (MDT) is not dependent on any single business, product line or geography. Its balance sheet is well-capitalized and MDT continues to generate free cash flow. MDT will focus on increasing its market share, through growth and expansion investments. MDT is a terrific play on an aging population, says Jamie Dlugosch.

Corning (GLW) shares may surrender much of their recent gains, warns Barron's. Consumers are spending much less on TVs, making the companies who make them -- Corning customers -- to take measure. These will hurt Corning's profits and margins.

Ford Motor Co. (F) is benefiting from the troubles of the other two Detroit carmakers, GM and Chrysler, says the Wall Street Journal. Ford hasn't taken government money, and it even reached an agreement with the UAW two days before GM and Chrysler did. But most important, it has been having more success at luring away its competitors' customers.

Peabody Energy (BTU) is the largest private market coal firm in the world. It had a great 2008, says Jack Adamo. The company expects the pricing environment to be tough this year, but this is the best company in its industry and its stock is selling at less than 10-times earnings.
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