3 Stocks That Will Probably Make Big Moves This Week

By looking for heavily shorted stocks that are coming out with earnings, we can prepare for big moves in these three companies.

Jan 5, 2014 at 7:00AM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investment thesis.

Welcome to 2014, fellow Fools. As you may know, we aren't a group that's prone to get too excited about movements in the market that last a day, a week, a month, or even a year. We're long-term, buy-to-hold investors who stay focused on what matters -- a years-long time horizon.

But we're also human, and that means that our brains will still get overly excited from time to time when our favorite stocks make outsized moves in just one day. To prevent you from making any rash decisions this week, let's cover three stocks that could cause some investor anxiety.

All three of these companies are heavily shorted -- or have lots of investors betting against their success -- and they are reporting earnings. Two weeks ago, we identified five stocks that shared these traits, and they moved an average of 12% following earnings. This week, these three companies could be in for a similar fate.


% of Shares Short

Reports When?

Expected Revenue (Millions)

Expected EPS

Micron Tech (NASDAQ:MU)





Apollo Education (NASDAQ:APOL)










Sources: finviz.com, E*Trade.

Micron Technology
Last year was an absolutely fantastic year for shareholders of Micron, which saw its shares jump more than 250%. The year was highlighted by key acquisitions that helped Micron consolidate its power in the industry for dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, devices. Currently, the company has a 23% share in the industry. That, plus great sales for key customers -- none other than Apple -- gave investors lots to cheer about in 2013.

Many believe there's still a lot to be excited about. While demand from Apple will no doubt play a role in Micron's success in the year ahead, investors are also excited about increasing demand for DRAM from mobile devices. Bears are betting that, over time, competition and commoditization of DRAM will lead to lower prices, and lower profits. Wednesday's earnings release will be the first step in seeing which side has placed its bets wisely.

Apollo Education
Apollo is the parent organization of the largest online, for-profit educator: The University of Phoenix. Though 2013 represented solid gains for the company's stock -- up 34% -- it is still down about 70% from its 2009 highs.

A number of factors have combined to continually drive Apollo's shares down. First, with the economy slowly recovering, fewer people are using their stint of unemployment to get a degree. Second, traditional schools have begun offering online courses that are far cheaper than Apollo's. But by far the most important factor: The government has wisely cracked down on an entire industry that got rich by offering empty promises to students looking to get ahead financially.

Investors cheered in October, when Apollo reported earnings that far surpassed expectations. But for those who digged a little deeper, it was clear that Apollo still had problems, as the bleeding of new students continued. Bears believe that the downward trend in enrollment will continue.

When last year started, SUPERVALU was the parent company of several large grocery chains across the United States. By the end of the year, it had sold off its Albertson's and Jewel-Osco brands, among others. The market liked the move and rewarded shareholders with a 200% jump in the company's share price.

But those betting against the stock know that trends are still working against SUPERVALU. Among the chains SUPERVALU still owns, same-store sales continue to trend downward. With Wal-Mart and Target taking more and more share from traditional grocers, SUPERVALU could have a tough time proving it has what it takes to be a market leader in the years to come.

Don't worry about short-term moves with these 3 stocks
As I said at the beginning, this piece is just a heads-up for investors in these companies -- not a recommendation to try to time the market.

As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on short-term movements. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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