3 Predictions for This Week

I went out on a limb last week, and now it's time to see how that decision played out.

  • I predicted that Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) would post a wider loss than the $0.93 a share that analysts were expecting. The company's signature bookstores are in for a tough few years as readers migrate away from physical books and magazines. On the other hand, the company's losing a ton of money in trying to get its Nook e-reader business off the ground. Well, the meandering retailer posted a loss of $1.08 a share. Even if you rightfully back out a one-time tax charge, the chain still lost $0.98 a share. I was right.
  • I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (INDEX: ^DJI  ) . This was a consistent winning call during the first quarter, but the Dow 30 has won most of the early rounds this quarter. Well, the market was mixed last week. The Dow finished with a 1% loss, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to inch 0.7% higher. I was right.
  • My final call was for Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY  ) to beat what Wall Street analysts were forecasting on the bottom line in its latest quarter. The home-goods retailer has been landing just ahead of where Wall Street's expectations are perched over the past year. Bed Bath & Beyond scored a profit of $0.89 a share, just ahead of the $0.85 that analysts were forecasting. I was right.

Three out of three? Awesome!

Let me once again whip out my trusty, dusty, and occasionally accurate crystal ball to make three calls that may play out over the next few trading days.

1. Research In Motion will post a loss on Thursday
Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) has a problem. Folks are trading in their BlackBerrys for Androids and iPhones at an alarming rate. The unwelcome trend has led to executive turnover and a cascading share price.

The smartphone pioneer reports on Thursday. Analysts aren't optimistic, but they are still holding out for a quarterly profit. Wall Street's consensus calls for earnings of $0.01 a share on a nearly 36% plunge in revenue.

The $0.01 in profit is a far cry from the $1.33 a share it generated in net income a year earlier, but at least it's still in the black. I don't think it will even see that penny, though. I predict red on RIM's bottom line.

2.The Nasdaq Composite will beat the Dow this week 
Betting on tech over stodgy blue chips was a steady winning bet for me earlier this year. This has been a losing bet lately, but did you see how investors began rotating back into tech bellwethers last week? I think that's a trend that will continue.

I'm going to stick with this pick. Most of the names in the composite are just too cheap at this point.

The market is ripe for the tech-stacked secondary stocks to continue to outpace the 30 megacaps that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

3. Monsanto will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat-out better than others.

Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) is a household name despite its agrichemical nature. It's the company behind seeds and traits developed through biotechnology, as well as weed killers and other crop-protecting chemicals.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers.

If analysts say the company earned $1.60 a share in its latest quarter, I'll whip out a "greater than" sign. History's on my side!

One of my best tricks to beating the market is finding stocks that perpetually land ahead of the prognosticators. Let's go over the past year of earnings reports.

Quarter

EPS Estimate

EPS

Surprise

Q3 2011 $1.11 $1.26 14%
Q4 2011 ($0.27) ($0.22) 19%
Q1 2012 $0.16 $0.23 44%
Q2 2012 $2.12 $2.28 8%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. As a careful trend watcher, I'm fully aware that Monsanto's most recent quarter is also the one with the narrowest beat. We all have to eat, and emerging markets translate into greater demand for farmed goods, but the global economic malaise has a funny way of getting in the way of bountiful harvests.

However, there are no signs that the company will fumble this quarter to the point of failing to live up to Wall Street estimates.

Everything still seems to be falling into place for another strong quarter on the bottom line.

Three for the road
Well, there are three predictions right there. Let's see how I fare this week.

If you like to stay on top of what happens next -- and I'm guessing you do, because you're reading this article -- how about checking out The Motley Fool's top stock for 2012? It's a free report, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Bed Bath & Beyond, creating a modified stock repair against synthetic long position in Monsanto, and writing puts on Barnes & Noble. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


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  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2012, at 11:06 AM, TMFBreakerRick wrote:

    Really? I'd expect a comment like that after going 0-for-3 or even 1-for-3, but not coming off a week where I nailed all three. I guess you can't please everybody.

  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2012, at 11:22 AM, EnigmaDude wrote:

    I predict you will get more rude and idiotic comments like the first one on this post!

    I think you also stand a pretty good chance of getting at least one call correct. According to a Forbes article:

    Leading up to Monsanto‘s (MON) announcement of its third quarter earnings on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, analysts have become more bullish as expectations have improved over the past month from $1.30 per share to the current projection of earnings of $1.59 per share.

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