Investors should not be afraid that rising interest rates will chop down shares of Plum Creek Timber, says Andy Murray, portfolio manager for the Becker Value Equity fund. 'The shares have languished this year over concerns about whether this timber REIT gets curtailed due to rising interest rates, but when rates are rising we should see a continued recovery in housing starts as a reflection of an improving economy,' says Murray. 'When that happens we will see prices for their logs and timber as well.' April housing starts came in at 1.13 million last month, ahead of Wall Street expectations. Shares of Plum Creek, which pays a 4.2% dividend yield, are down over 4% so far this year. Meanwhile, Murray is also bullish on Amdocs which has seen its shares jump over 20% year-to-date. Murray says the telecom software provider’s stocks is surging on the company’s merits, not as a result of takeout speculation in an M&A crazed market. 'Management have a great long term vision to grow that company and they keep delivering and executing and the share price reflects that,' says Murray.
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