In this section we provide readers with three stocks that have attracted the interest of the broking community or the ‘herd’. Broker recommendations tend to be biased and highly optimistic. We try and breakdown these barriers and give our own honest opinion. It is important to keep in mind that technical analysis is only one part of the investment process and any recommendations do not give consideration to the underlying fundamentals of each business. BHP – $29.91 – Posted a profit fall in February with its NPAT dropping 37% to US$2bn following accounting losses from the recent US company tax cuts. It was hit with a one-off income tax charge of US$1.83bn. On the positive side though, it didn’t affect BHP’s share price, nor was it a problem with the underlying business. Despite the fall in net profit, BHP returned cash to investors by announcing a 38% rise in its dividend to US55c up from US40c . BHP also voiced its intention to sell off its US shale unit and has opened its shale datarooms  for investors to inspect. Broker View:  Macquarie (OUTPERFORM $35.70) – The broker is bullish on the company and its target price is 16% above the current share price. It says BHP’s oil business carries upside potential. The offloading of its shale business, is considered a positive catalyst that could occur during the course of this year. For that reason the broker is bullish. Unconventional View: We agree with Macquarie. At the moment, it’s all about BHP’s shale assets which is one of the main reasons brokers are bullish going forward. The iron ore price is hovering around US$64 a tonne, which is OK. In February the miner said it was prepared to split its Shale assets into separate businesses and sell them off. Of course it favours the sale in one transaction, but it will consider the alternative if the opportunity arises. That’s good news for investors. It makes us more confident that the sale will go through and it being done at a time when oil prices are at their highs. It’s a great time to sell and BHP could yield a good price for these assets. From what we’ve read, it seems BHP has attracted significant interest from small and big players that are looking to find as much value from the sale as possible. There is even talk that BHP could exchange onshore US shale gas with offshore oil assets, which could add future growth. The worst case scenario is a demerger. On the StockOmeter, BHP is yielding quite a high score, 88. This is because its PE is reasonable, ROE and EPS is rising and its trend is great. On the chart, BHP is trading midway in an uptrend channel and looks to trending higher. As an investor, you’d be looking to add at these levels. RSI is also neutral at 58. Boral…

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