So, how did we do? A year ago the Yorkshire Post Business and City desks tried to read the stock market by picking their favourite shares for 2010. The FTSE 100 closed up nine per cent at 5,899.9 in 2010, setting the benchmark. It's time for the team to stand up and be counted, plus select stocks for 2011.
IT SEEMS like only yesterday that I was picking my share tip for 2010. How time flies. Unfortunately, flight was not a characteristic demonstrated in my chosen stock, as Drax, the power generation business, went the opposition direction, closing 2010 at 368.3p, an 11.2 per cent fall on 2009's closing price of 414.8p.
Drax generates around seven per cent of the UK's electricity through its coal-fired plant at Selby. I reasoned that energy, like food, is something that is essential and so will always be in demand. Of course it will be, but expecting a profit on a 12-month punt was perhaps unrealistic, particularly when the commodity markets in which it operates remain so challenging.
The company has good contracts in place and expects full year earnings to be slightly ahead of consensus. I think its value will rise again in 2011.
However, this year, I am going to back a new entrant to the stock exchange, the CPP, which provides credit card protection and other life assistance products and services. The York-based business surged into the FTSE-250 in March with a flotation that raised 150m. The float was "comfortably oversubscribed", according to executives.
Analysts at Citi believe CPP has a strong UK position, good potential for upselling and is well positioned in Mexico, China and India. Analysts at KBC Peel Hunt have said the company has first-mover advantage in a large and rapidly growing international market.
The main reason for choosing CPP is its strong presence in emerging markets. These are where the growth will be next year – and of all Yorkshire's listed companies, CPP is perhaps best placed to capitalise on that. The company closed 2010 at 302p. I confidently expect a good year from CPP.