CNBC Stock Blog

5-Star Manager's Top Stock Picks

Markets opened higher on Wednesday, helped by a positive jobs data. Where should investors be looking right now? Bernard Lirola, fund manager of the Needham Aggressive Growth Fund, shared his favorite stock picks.

Lirola's Recommendations:

Trimble Navigation —“They create efficiencies for businesses,” Lirola told CNBC.

“They do it through a combination of equipment and software…It is an efficiency driven company…I’m hoping the stock will gain 50 percent in 2 years.”

Betting on America

Express Scripts —“They try to drive the cost of drugs down for corporations and also for government,” he said of the firm.

“We see them doubling their earnings to about $7 a share in 3 years, so we’re very happy to pay just 15 times next year earnings for that growth.”

Gilead Sciences —“They are the leading viral drug solution company in the world—75 percent of HIV patients in the U.S. are treated with their drugs and only 65 percent in Europe, so there’s growth opportunity there,” he said.

“But [Gilead] is also expanding their research to other lines of viral issues,  so I see them being taken over by pharmaceutical companies because anti-viral research is very important. They trade at $43, I hope that they’d be taken out in 2 to 3 years at $75 a share.”

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No immediate information was available for Lirola or his firm.