CNBC Stock Blog

My 5 Top Stock Picks for 2012: Laszlo Birinyi

Market volatility in Europe and the U.S. doesn't concern stockpicker Laszlo Birinyi but it does change his strategy, he told CNBC Tuesday.

"I still like the markets, but I want to focus more on individual stocks," said the president of Birinyi Associates. "I want to pick stocks that are somewhat buffered from these issues, and I want to get down to the basics...individual, fundamental stocks."

Birinyi likes BlackRock because, he says, "I want to buy the people who are writing ETFs," referring to exchange-traded funds. He also likes People's United Financial , even though he's not a big fan of bank stocks.

Five Names to Watch in 2012

"This is a bank that shouldn't be suffering from Ireland or Portugal," he said, adding that he finds its yield of more than 5 percent attractive.

General Motors makes his list because, Birinyi says, "business is doing a little better than people perceive," even though he said "it's a long shot."

Another long shot is Research in Motion . "It's been beaten down. It's a brand, it's got fans, and it's got its products," he said, noting that back in 1998 he told CNBC one of his picks was the nascent Apple.

Finally, Birinyi likes Hermes International , which he called the "most iconic brand in the world."

"It was up 60 percent last year," he says. "At one point it was the best performing stock in the Stoxx 600."

Birinyi said that on balance top picks for 2011, including Hermes, Prudhoe Bay, Priceline, Cummins and Ralph Lauren , are up 16 percent as of late Monday.


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Laszlo Birinyi owns shares of the companies mentioned.