3 Predictions for the New Week

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

  • I predicted that SodaStream  (NASDAQ: SODA  )  would move higher on the week. The leader when it comes to in-home carbonation was reporting quarterly results, and that seemed like a good time to reiterate its position as a growth stock. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a report. Sales were flat as overseas growth was largely offset by stateside weakness. Investors were braced for a soft report, but the stock still shed 1.6% of its value on the week. I was wrong.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  has been clobbering the Nasdaq Composite lately, but I still think the tech-centric Nasdaq is the place to be. My second prediction was for the Nasdaq to beat the Dow on the week. It finally happened. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5% on the week. The Dow moved 0.6% lower. I was right.
  • My final call was for magicJack VocalTec  (NASDAQ: CALL  ) to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The provider of Web-based telephone service had beaten analyst targets consistently over the past four quarters, and I was banking on a repeat performance. We saw it close out the quarter with an adjusted profit of $0.53 a share. Analysts had been projecting net income of $0.49 a share. The stock took a hit on the report as a whole, but it was a beat on the bottom line. I was right.

Two 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. hhgregg will move higher on the week
Things don't look for for hhgregg  (NYSE: HGG  )  these days. The retailer of appliances, electronics, and furniture reports on Tuesday. It's going to be ugly. Analysts see a quarterly loss on a 10% drop in sales. Picking the superstore chain to move higher on the week doesn't ignore that. It's going to be a brutal quarter for the 228-store chain. 

In fact, it wouldn't be a surprise if it's even worse than Wall Street's forecasting since hhgregg has badly missed analyst profit targets in its two most recent quarters. However, have you seen the stock? It has shed nearly half of its value over the past year. It's one of this year's biggest disappointments with a nearly 40% drop so far in 2014. 

Earlier this month we saw the chain kick off a new brand transformation strategy. It brought in a new COO three weeks ago. As bad as the report can be and perhaps uninspiring as its guidance may be it does have a good platform to paint a more upbeat portrait about its future. The stock has been hammered so hard that the pessimism of a horrible quarter is already priced into the shares.

My first call is for hhgregg to move higher for the week. 

2. Nasdaq will beat the Dow this week
I've routinely picked the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and it's been a bad bet in recent weeks. It finally paid off this past week, and I'm going to stick with it again for a repeat performance. My second call is for the Nasdaq Composite to beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the week.

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

PetSmart  (NASDAQ: PETM  ) is the country's largest specialty retailer of pet products and services. It offers a wide array of pet supplies through its 1,333 stores, including basic veterinary services, grooming, and even boarding in some locations.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company rang up a profit of $0.10 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

$0.96

$0.98

2%

Q2 2013

$0.86

$0.89

4%

Q3 2013

$0.86

$0.88

2%

Q4 2013

$1.21

$1.28

6%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. Many retailers have been posting soft performances this past quarter, even though PetSmart will be spared the January snowstorm scapegoat since this fiscal period began a month later. PetSmart's beats have also been narrow, so it's not as if the chain is blowing the pros away every quarter.

That's all stuff to keep in mind down the road, but not now. Everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.

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