3 Predictions for the New Week

This Fool sees a limb to go out on. And another. And another.

Jul 27, 2014 at 3:00PM

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

  • I predicted that Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) would hit an all-time high during the week, something that it had failed to do in the prior 11 trading days after peaking earlier this month. It didn't take long for this one to happen, since an analyst upgrade on Monday made it happen and a strong quarterly report on Thursday kept it soaring to new heights. In fact, Baidu hit new highs in each and every single trading day last week. I was right.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) seemed to be Teflon-coated, rising a week earlier despite mounting geopolitical pressures. I figured the index of blue-chip stocks was due for a breather, calling for it to decline on the week. It did. The Dow slipped 0.8% for the week. I was right.
  • My final call was for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The leading social-networking website operator had beaten analyst targets consistently over the past few quarters, and I was banking on a repeat performance. We saw it close out the quarter with a profit of $0.42 a share. Analysts had been projecting net income of $0.32 a share. I was right.

Three out of three? Nice. It's good to bounce back after three bad weeks of prognostications. 

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. Whole Foods Market will move lower
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) has been a market darling for years, but it's been stumbling lately. After years of consistently beating Wall Street forecasts, the organic grocer has come up short in back-to-back quarters. The competitive nature for organics finds more traditional outlets stocking all-natural items at competitive pricing. The last thing Whole Foods Market wants is a price war. It reports on Wednesday, and until it can get back to landing ahead of analysts again, taking a cautious stance makes sense. 

My first call is for Whole Foods Market to close lower for the week.

2. The Dow will close lower this week
Calling for the Dow to slide last week was the right call, and given the ho-hum earnings season we've been having, coupled with global uneasiness, I'm going to stick with this call for at least another week. My second call is for the Dow to close lower for the week.

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

CommVault Systems (NASDAQ:CVLT) is a fast-growing provider of enterprise software. CommVault's platform gives companies greater control in analyzing data growth, costs, and risk. Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company rang up a profit of $0.41 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 2014

$0.35

$0.40

14%

Q2 2014

$0.40

$0.48

20%

Q3 2014

$0.44

$0.54

23%

Q4 2014

$0.47

$0.52

11%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. CommVault needs a buoyant corporate economy to keep signing up new customers, and that's not a sure bet these days.

It's also worth pointing out that the gap narrowed in the previous quarter between CommVault's profit and what analysts were projecting, after several periods in which the gap had progressively widened. 

That's all stuff to keep in mind down the road. For now, everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.

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John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Baidu, Facebook, and Whole Foods Market. 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.

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