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 slipped in recent weeks, and I figured it was due for a bounce. The market deluge clearly didn't help, but Sirius XM was actually holding on to a weekly gain with hours left in the week. It didn't stick. Sirius XM closed 1.3% lower. I was wrong.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  has been beating the Nasdaq Composite in recent weeks, but I was expecting the trend to reverse itself. It was a brutal week. The Nasdaq plunged 3.1%, worse than the Dow's 2.3% slide. I was wrong.
  • My final call was for WD-40  (NASDAQ: WDFC  )  to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The company behind industrial cleaners, automatic toilet bowl cleaners, and its namesake lubricant has beaten analyst targets consistently over the past four quarters. I was banking on a repeat performance. We saw WD-40 close out the quarter with a profit of $0.67. Analysts had been projecting net income of $0.68. I was wrong.

I whiffed on all three? I can do better than that. I can't do worse.

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. AMD will do more than break even
Advanced Micro Devices  (NYSE: AMD  )  has done a lot of growing since its days as a pesky No. 2 in the PC market for microprocessors. It has evolved, and now happens to be the company that powers all three of the next-gen video game consoles.

AMD reports quarterly results on Thursday, and analysts see it breaking even. That would be an improvement over the small loss it posted a year earlier, and be the chip provider's third consecutive profitable quarter. Let's aim higher. AMD posted a better profit than analysts were forecasting in the two previous quarters, so why settle for breaking even this time around?

My first call is for AMD to earn more than $0.00 a share in Thursday's quarterly report.

2. Nasdaq will bounce back 
I routinely picked the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and it's usually been a smart wager.

That hasn't been the case lately, but the bigger story here is how the Nasdaq has gotten rocked in recent weeks, with many of last year's market leaders falling sharply since peaking last month. My second call is for the Nasdaq Composite to close out the short trading wek beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the week.

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

Johnson & Johnson  (NYSE: JNJ  ) is the pharmaceuticals giant with a strong hand in consumer products. Doctors and surgeons know its medical products, but most folks know its baby shampoo, Band-Aid bandages, and other products. Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company posted a profit of $1.48 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

$1.40

$1.44

3%

Q2 2013

$1.39

$1.48

7%

Q3 2013

$1.32

$1.36

3%

Q4 2013

$1.20

$1.24

3%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. The beats have been consistent but also fairly narrow. It's landed ahead of the prognosticators by a mere 3% margin in three of the past four quarters. That's not a lot of wiggle room.

It's still 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, as you check out three more investing ideas. As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. 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. 


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