The Motley Fool's Rising Stars program is a unique offering you won't likely find anywhere else. Readers have access to real-time trades executed by 11 different analysts using the Fool's own money.
Even though the program is still in its infancy, a number of analysts are already beating the market. And the best part about the program: It's absolutely free! You don't pay a dime for this advice.
Over the past few weeks, Rising Star analysts have put the Fool's money behind five companies they consider to be best buys right now. Read below to see which companies they are, and at the end I'll offer you access to a special free report on three stocks that will help you retire rich.
Freeport-McMoRan (NYS: FCX)
Rising Star Jim Muellerrecently tapped this miner for his portfolio. Jim believes shares of Freeport have fallen because of recessionary fears from Europe and slowing growth in China. But both of these, Jim believes, are minor hiccups for the long-term investor: "The demand for copper has risen pretty steadily for the past 100 years, and I don't see that turning around despite short-term worries."
Jim's thesis for the company is actually quite simple: "Freeport has a very low cost of production for copper of just $1.01 per pound, which is great, as copper is currently selling for around $3.80 per pound." If you agree with Jim, then today's prices look like a steal.
Apple (NAS: AAPL)
Despite its recent surge, Rising Star Andrew Tonner believes Apple is worth his money at today's prices. He sees "plenty of room to run" for the company. His reasoning comes down to two simple steps. First, the company is still trading for cheap. It's currently trading for just over 15 times earnings and only 11.4 times forward earnings. The company also has a pile of cash -- about $100 billion -- in the bank, which offers a high level of security.
Secondly, Andrew believes that the opportunities that still exist in mobile are vast. Apple is one of only two players Andrew sees having a chance to truly dominate mobile (see the last company in this article for the other), and with the company's booming sales in emerging markets, he believes the sky's the limit.
Zipcar (NAS: ZIP)
Fool analyst Dave Meier has been doing very well since starting his portfolio with Rising Stars. His average pick this far is up more than 20%, versus a market average of just 14%. The only reason he's not walloping the market is because he's slowly investing all of his cash.
His most recent pick is now a three-time recommendation: Zipcar. He compares the company's membership format to Costco and its focus on maximizing underutilized assets to Netflix's original DVD format.
Dave also believes the numbers speak for themselves. There are now 673,000 Zipsters on the roads, a 25% increase from last year. Sales for 2011 were up 30%, while margins improved as well. And the fact that has Dave most excited: 10 million people live within a 10-minute walk to a Zipcar.
CARBO Ceramics (NYS: CRR)
Rising Star Jason Moser made a decision to buy shares of this maker of fracking materials. Specifically, CARBO offers extraction companies the fluids and materials that help them extract more oil and natural gas from beneath the surface than was previously possible.
Jason likes CARBO's chances for several reasons: The mood surrounding natural gas is sullen right now, as prices have reached multiyear lows; horizontal fracking, which was seldom used in the past, has become very popular, driving demand for CARBO's products; and the company has a solid corporate history that dates back to 1979 -- long before the current fracking craze began.
Google (NAS: GOOG)
Finally, Fool analyst Joe Tenebruso is modeling his portfolio around tier-one companies, and he thinks Google is a perfect fit. For starters, the company has already accomplished the very difficult -- becoming synonymous with search: "When a business earns that level of mindshare with consumers, it becomes incredibly difficult for competitors to dislodge it from its leadership position."
Joe also likes the way Google has been able to monetize its ad business. He has a lot of faith that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will continue Google's steak of innovation. "Page will lead Google's product-development and technology strategy, while Brin will focus on new products and innovation. With each of Google's leaders in a more clarified role best suited to their strengths, this new management structure should serve Google well."
Want to retire rich?
Our Rising Stars are a starting point for your investing endeavors. But they are by no means an ending point.
Our top analysts have put together a special free report on "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." I suggest you continue your investing journey by grabbing a copy of this report, and finding out who these three companies are. The report is yours today, absolutely free!
At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Google, Zipcar, and Apple. You can follow him on Twitter, where he goes by TMFStoffel.The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco, Google, Zipcar, CARBO Ceramics, Apple, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Costco, Netflix, Zipcar, and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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.
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