9 Predictions for 2009: The Scorecard

I went out on a few limbs last December, making nine predictions for 2009. In the spirit of full accountability before I begin whipping out the crystal ball for some glimpses into 2010, I figured I would come back and review the initial four -- and then additional five -- predictions that I made in mid-December last year.

I nailed a lot more than I thought I would, but let's go to the tape to make sure.

1. Yahoo! will trade higher in 2009
Yahoo!
(Nasdaq: YHOO  ) was a Wall Street joke last year. The stock wound up losing 48% of its value in 2008, and that came after tanking by 35% in 2006 and 9% in 2007. I'm just adding a little color here to put you back in the struggling search portal's gloomy state when I made my contrarian call.

Yahoo! hasn't necessarily had a blowout 2009 in terms of fundamentals. Profitability may have stabilized, but revenue continues to head lower.

In the end, my call was simply about Yahoo! closing out 2009 higher than it began, and it looks like I will win this one. The stock closed at $15.74 last night, 29% higher than where it was at the end of 2008.

2. Sirius XM won't file for bankruptcy
This also seemed like a gutsy call in mid-December, as even Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) CEO Mel Karmazin went on to warn two months later that his company might end up having no choice but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Thankfully, it didn't happen. Sirius XM was able to choose between a pair of sugar daddies who provided just enough capital to get back on its feet.

Sirius XM has gone on to push back debt maturities, winning credit rating upgrades along the way. It's a survivor with improving fundamentals.

3. Tech will lead the market recovery
"The one sector that will lead the country out of recession is technology," I wrote last year. "It will be companies like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , which were smoking hot leading into the meltdown, that will regain their sizzle."

I got that one right, too. Apple and Google are up 127% and 93% respectively this year, obliterating the S&P 500's relatively modest 23% ascent this year.

4. Chinese stocks will outperform stateside equities
There have been plenty of winners and losers in China this year, but let's go to the ticker tape where Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is up 52% this year, more than doubling the S&P 500's run in 2009.

The Shanghai Composite -- a better gauge of Mainland China -- is up a whopping 80% year-to-date.

5. Stocks will rise in 2009
This seems like such an easy call in retrospect, but there was still blood running through the streets a year ago. Major banks and auto manufacturers were teetering. There were doubts about the economy's ability to bounce back.

Well, the S&P 500's 23% move -- and Nasdaq Composite's heartier 40% surge -- have silenced the bears. The economy may still be on shaky ground, but stocks clearly rose in 2009.

I guess I'm 5-for-5 at this point. What can go wrong?

6. Oil will rise, gold will fall
Doh! Me and my oil-kissing mouth.

"The economy is so bad that we are not consuming fuel, yet everybody wants gold," I asked rhetorically, pegging a healthy turnaround for sagging oil prices.

A late surge in gold has pushed the precious metal's price 27% higher year-to-date. Crude oil on the other hand began the year at $44.60 a barrel, and its price increase has more than doubled gold's move this year.

Really? I got that one, too? With all of the gold-bug buzz, I figured I had surely messed that one up. OK, so maybe relative performance is a technicality, but I'll take it, of course.

7. Google will beat out gold
I may have been a chump when I chose a share of Google over an ounce of gold four years ago -- when both were barreling toward the $500 mark -- but I nailed it in 2009. Yes, gold has been hot lately, but I already went over Google's scorching 93% return this year.

Really? I'm 7-for-7 at this point?

8. Apple will be OK, with or without Steve Jobs as CEO
Apple has more than doubled this year, so that lays to rest the argument of Apple's performance sans Jobs during his extended medical leave earlier this year.

It looked dicey for Apple a year ago, though. This prediction came at a time when Apple had announced that it would be hosting its annual Macworld powwow and that Steve Jobs wouldn't be spearheading his usually scintillating keynote speech.

Well, both Apple and Jobs appear to be a lot healthier at the end of the year than at the beginning.

9. 2009 will be a consolidation pinata
I don't think I needed ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM  ) $41 billion deal for XTOEnergy (NYSE: XTO  ) this week to clinch this one, but it's a beauty of an exclamation point. I would have also settled for Warren Buffett's biggest purchase ever when he bagged Burlington Northern (NYSE: BNI  ) in a $44 billion deal last month.

Consolidation was destined to be a major theme in 2009, as low interest rates drove cash-rich companies to put their idle cash -- and eventually buoyant stock prices -- to good use.

In the end, there may be enough gray areas in my predictions to strip me of a perfect 9-for-9 score. But I'm still arguing that I didn't get any of them completely wrong.

I guess that places a lot of pressure on my crystal ball when I dust it off shortly to make my forecasts for 2010.

What predictions do you think I should make for 2010? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of XTO Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz may have his crystal ball bronzed after its 2009 performance. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (13) | Recommend This Article (22)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 12:03 PM, Fool wrote:

    Good job.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 12:16 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    How many Fools made money on these predictions. Tell us your stories.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 12:27 PM, Seansonfire wrote:

    Prediction for 2010.

    -Natural Gas will be up

    -Financials will be flat

    -M&A will be back to 2006 levels.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 12:52 PM, davion13 wrote:

    SIRI

    I bagged a real money return of %800 including price appreciation and covered call sales.

    I personally believe its a long term buy and hold and will still grow faster than the overall market.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 3:07 PM, DiscoFinance wrote:

    No that the movie about Sirius XM stock has gone to $1.99 instant download on Amazon

    ( http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Ddvd&... )

    Everyone will learn the whole story of it's rise from the ashes which is due, IMO, mostly to the shareholders themselves. Call it the power of prayer -LOL

    Movie is also on DVD but only at www.stockshockmovie.com

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 11:11 PM, WoodyDog1400 wrote:

    Rick, what is you prediction for SIRI 2010??? You bashed it 90% on 09, I bet you think twice about that in 2010..

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 12:25 AM, wtfdidyousay wrote:

    Oil will rise, gold will fall??

    ok, so if gold was in the 800 dollar range at the beginning of the year, how was your prediction correct?

    what the hell are you talking about??

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 2:30 AM, sirwanksalot wrote:

    Gold is at all-time highs, that's a fail buddy

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 10:40 AM, TMFAleph1 wrote:

    Rick,

    Nice job overall, but I have to disagree with you regarding your assessment of prediction number 9. Despite the two large deals you cite, I don't think anyone would conclude that consolidation was a "major theme" in 2009 -- aggregate M&A volume declined significantly this year, in the U.S. and globally.

    Alex Dumortier

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 6:31 PM, FM5 wrote:

    Your Right, It will be nice when IM flying on the new 787 at 37,000 feet and the chime go's off and the new siri TV's fold down from the top and there is 1/8 inch jack on the seats arm rest with up and down buttons so i can hear my Siri Radio and TV. On a 3 hr flight.

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 6:34 PM, FM5 wrote:

    Your Right, It will be nice when IM flying on the new 787 at 37,000 feet and the chime go's off and the new siri TV's fold down from the top and there is 1/8 inch jack on the seats arm rest with up and down buttons so i can hear my Siri Radio and TV. On a 3 hr flight.

  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2009, at 10:33 AM, pondee619 wrote:

    Did ANYBODY other than davion13 make money off lasts years predictions? A prediction, right or wrong, that went for no profit is worth the profit made.

  • Report this Comment On December 26, 2009, at 1:06 AM, prginww wrote:

    i dont have a comment right now,but if i do i bet everybody will argue with me.

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