5 stocks to watch for the rest of 2014

Entering 2014 there were a number of companies that I had my eyes on – particularly ones that had underperformed the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) as it soared in excess of 15% through 2013.

Since then, the index has dropped around 6% and many of the stocks have fallen to even more attractive prices! Here are five that I am paying particular attention to:

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (ASX: CCL): Unlike many of Australia’s other blue-chips stocks, the manufacturer and distributor of some of the world’s most popular brands had a year to forget. Pricing pressures from supermarkets and primary rival Schweppes saw the company issue a profit warning and shares plummet. Since the end of last year, the stock has actually dropped a further 6%, making now a fantastic time to buy in – particularly given the company’s growth prospects in Indonesia.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS): The telco might already be one of Australia’s largest companies but it still has enormous growth opportunities ahead as individuals and companies grow increasingly reliant on smartphones and the internet. Since the beginning of January, the stock is down 3.8% and could drive your portfolio forward for the next decade – particularly with its 5.6% fully franked dividend yield.

Collection House Limited (ASX: CLH): I am already a happy shareholder of this receivables management company but would definitely consider adding to my holdings again in 2014 – particularly if it experiences a fall in price. The company is still in its early stages of growth and has delivered spectacular results thus far, including a 23% jump in net profit after tax in 2013. Its shares are currently trading at $1.80, 18c below its all-time high, on a P/E ratio of 12.6, making now an excellent time to buy into this growth story.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP): The diversified miner has my attention in 2014 after a partial recovery in the second half of last year. The company is focused on heavily cutting costs and increasing productivity and output as well as divesting from non-core operations. Shareholder returns could also increase in the form of a share buyback program and an increased dividend payment. Shares ended last year trading at $37.99 and have since dropped 7.1% to $35.28.

Nearmap Limited (ASX: NEA): The mapping company soared in excess of 700% in 2013, finishing the year trading at 54.5c a share, as investors recognised the potential of its product. They have since climbed a further 2c but not before climbing as high as 65.5c late in January. The company continues to increase its customer numbers and is currently only operating in Australia but could certainly look to expand internationally.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares in Collection House Limited.

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