3 Predictions for the New Week

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

  • I predicted that Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) would move higher on the week. The satellite-radio provider had closed lower in three consecutive weeks before closing out the fourth week unchanged. It's been a long time since the company had four straight weeks without a gain, and I figured sentiment would improve heading into January's subscription rate increase. An analyst upgrade on Friday helped push the shares 1.4% higher. I was right.
  • I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . This has been a tricky call lately, so how did it play out this time? Well, this was a soft week for stocks. The Nasdaq moved 0.6% lower, and that was worse than the Dow's 0.1% dip. I was wrong.
  • My final call was for Lindsay (NYSE: LNN  ) to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The provider of irrigation systems and infrastructure products has been routinely beating Wall Street projections over the past year before falling short on its previous quarter. I was banking on a repeat performance, but Lindsay's profit of $0.79 a share fell short of the $0.91 the pros were forecasting. I was wrong.

One out of three? I can do better than that.

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. Apple will move higher on the week
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) finally started to bounce back toward the end of 2013, and we have the international Consumer Electronics Show expo taking place in Las Vegas later this week. Apple's iOS yielded market dominance to Android over the years, but you can still expect plenty of products being introduced that play nice with iPhones and iPads. 

Apple had its challenges in fiscal 2013, as it saw sales flatten with earnings and margins contracting. However, things should get brighter in an improving economy, and there should be plenty of opportunities for investors to get excited about Apple's future during CES. The year itself won't be easy. A smartphone price war is afoot, and that may not be pretty for Apple. However, it should still be a good week for Apple during CES.

My first call is for Apple's stock to move higher this week.

2.The Nasdaq Composite will beat the Dow this week
Tech has been a big winner in recent years, so betting on tech over stodgy blue chips has been a good bet for me more often than not.

I'm going to stick with this pick, even if it's been a bad bet a few times lately. This is the time for Nasdaq's growth stocks to shine. 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. Apollo Education Group will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat-out better than others.

Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ: APOL  ) is a leading provider of for-profit post-secondary education. It's the parent company of the University of Phoenix, leveraging its virtual campus for degree seekers that want to beef up their hiring potential on a flexible and affordable basis.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company posted a profit of $0.90 a share in its latest quarter, I'll argue that it held up better than that. 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

Q1 2013

$0.90

$1.22

36%

Q2 2013

$0.18

$0.34

89%

Q3 2013

$0.85

$1.05

24%

Q4 2013

$0.25

$0.55

120%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. Enrollments have been disappointing at Apollo, and the Web-savvy educator is merely beating the market's hosed-down expectations. Apollo's been called out in the past for its aggressive marketing tactics, and the viability of online learning has been called into question.

However, it's hard to argue against the trend. Everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.

Three for the road
Well, there are three predictions right there. Let's see how I fare this week. In the meantime, consider that record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg. For this reason, The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 


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