2 stocks to buy and 3 to sell

So far this year the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has had a roller coaster ride, falling to 4,765 in mid-February and soaring to 5,611 earlier this month.

Year to date, the index is now up 4.5%, driven in part by a recovery in the resources sector as iron ore prices surged above US$50 a tonne. Healthcare stocks have also surged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care (Index: ^AXHJ) (ASX: XHJ) up a whopping 14.2% YTD.

On the flip side, big falls in the share price of Australia’s big four banks have dragged on the index.

That presents a conundrum for investors now. Should we jump out of bank and healthcare stocks and into the miners, or is it too late for that?

Here are 3 stocks that investors might want to consider selling out of…

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

A diversified financial services giant, AMP appears expensive at the current price of $5.77 and pays a dividend yield of below 5% partly franked. The problem for investors is that AMP is hugely complicated and has delivered meagre returns for shareholders of just 1.2% on average per year over the past decade.

Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ)

We warned back in 2013 that Aurizon’s dependence on coal volumes was a high-risk play – and it has finally come back to bite the rail transport group. Profits have crashed 88% in the last financial year and ill-fated investments in an iron ore miner during the iron ore boom are another sign of ‘diworsification’ in action.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)

The oil and gas producer is under the pump and unlikely to deliver much in the way of profits in the near term given it is struggling to even get to breakeven at current oil prices. There’s also the large pile of debt on the company’s books which represents a major risk to the company.

While those 3 companies might need to leave investors’ portfolios, here are two companies that could prove worthy additions.

Seek Limited (ASX: SEK)

The online jobs marketplace company was recently upgraded by brokers to a consensus strong buy – not surprising given its monopoly position in a number of regions and its majority stake in China’s equivalent Zhaopin. Seek has also diversified into other areas such as training and education, volunteer work and investment in early stage businesses.

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT)

The travel agent continues to dominate in Australia and has been hugely successful rolling out its model in a number of countries overseas including the US and the UK. Expansion into adjoining travel sectors such as tours and online flight bookings entrench its competitive advantage, and it is now ranked one of the top 10 travel companies in the US.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Seek and Flight Centre. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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