March 8, 2009 / 5:56 PM / in 10 years

Microsoft and Google are among Barron's top picks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Software giant Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Web search leader Google Inc (GOOG.O) and online auctions company eBay (EBAY.O) were among Barron’s newspaper’s top picks for the next 10 years.

Microsoft shares have disappointed investors, but the company is trading at appealing levels, and is supported by a long-term growth story, the weekly business newspaper said in its latest edition dated March 9.

Barron’s said Google — whose shares have lost almost half of their value since late 2007 — was chosen given the growth opportunities of advertising on the Internet and the company’s lack of debt.

EBay was selected given the company’s large cash holdings, low needs for cash investment for growth, and its solid brand, Barron’s said.

The list also included Mexico’s Femsa, Latin America’s largest bottler and brewer. Barron’s called it a well managed company with a strong cash base and a leading position in its region.

Among insurers, the newspaper chose Ace Ltd ACE.N because the property-casualty insurance company has a strong balance sheet and could benefit from rival American International Group’s (AIG.N) woes.

WellPoint Inc WLP.N, the largest U.S. health insurer by membership, was selected given its business is in administrating plans for companies, rather than taking underwriting risk, making its earnings outlook more predictable.

CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N), which operates more than 6,900 drugstores and also handles drug coverage for large employers, could be boosted by firms looking to increase efforts to control health-care costs, Barron’s said.

Cerner Corp (CERN.O), a company that builds data systems used in the health-care industry, and network storage and security company EMC EMC.N were included in the list given the growth outlook of their business.

Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O), a firm created by casino mogul Steve Wynn, was added to the list given the value of its properties in Las Vegas and Macau, and hopes that the entertainment industry will resist the financial turmoil.

Reporting by Juan Lagorio, editing by Derek Caney

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