SmartMoney’s Top 10 Stocks for 2012

The Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney recently named the top ten stocks to invest in for next year.  Many of the picks were based on the premise that the world continues to grow and will need more food and technology.

Here are the stocks that made the cut:

Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT):  Produces potash, phosphate, and nitrogen to the agricultural and industrial industries worldwide. The Company conducts operations in Canada, Chile, the United States, Brazil, and Trinidad.  Potash is the world’s largest supplier of potash.  Shares are down 21% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE:CEO):  Through its subsidiaries, explores, develops, produces, and sells crude oil and natural gas.  CNOOC is China’s (NYSE:FXI) largest producer of crude oil and natural gas.  Standard & Poor’s estimates that China will register a 6 percent increase in crude oil consumption for 2011, a “comfortable” amount for Cnooc, says analyst Ahmad Halim.  Shares are down 21% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP):  A multinational software company. The Company develops business software, including e-business and enterprise management software, consults on organizational usage of its applications software, and provides training services.  Investors need to proceed with caution as the company receives a large amount of revenue from Europe.  Shares are up 12% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Siemens AG (NYSE:SI):  Manufactures a wide range of industrial and consumer products. The Company builds locomotives, traffic control systems, automotive electronics, and engineers electrical power plants. Siemens also provides public and private communications networks, computers, building control systems, medical equipment, and electrical components.  Shares are down 23% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

AT&T (NYSE:T):  A communications holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides local and long-distance phone service, wireless and data communications, Internet access and messaging, IP-based and satellite television, security services, telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing.  The company is currently working on a deal to acquire T-Mobile.  Shares are down less than 1% for the year. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC):  A utility services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries distributes electricity to customers in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Exelon also distributes gas to customers in the Philadelphia area as well as operates nuclear power plants in states that include Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  It is the nation’s largest nuclear-power producer.  Shares have increased almost 5% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM):  Acquires, explores, and develops mineral properties. The Company produces gold from operations in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. Newmont also mines and processes copper in Indonesia.  Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) has enjoyed eleven consecutive years of positive returns.  Newmont currently offers a gold-linked dividend in order to help return profits to shareholders.  Shares have climbed 4.6% for the year. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

New Gold, Inc. (AMEX:NGD):  A natural resource company. The Company acquires, explores, and develops gold properties.  New Gold produced 383,000 ounces of gold in 2010, and plans to produce nearly 500,000 ounces by the end of 2012.  Shares have increased 6.15% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG):  A global technology company that provides a web based search engine through its website. The Company offers a wide range of search options, including web, image, groups, directory, and news searches.  SmartMoney also picked Google as a top stock for 2011.  Currently, shares have increased about 6.5% year-to-date.  A rather modest gain, but still a gain. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU):  Operates an Internet search engine. The Company offers algorithmic search, enterprise search, pay for performance and news, MP3, and image searches.  Over 75% of revenue from Chinese internet searches go to Baidu.  Shares have gained 30% YTD. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Last year, some of SmartMoney’s best picks include TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), which have increased 42% and 19% year-to-date, respectively.  However, other picks such as Republic Services Inc. (NYSE:RSG), 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) and Lowes Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) have decreased 8%, 6.5% and 2.2% year-to-date, respectively.