Some gains -- and losses -- aren't justified.
Let's take Intel
The tech bellwether hit a new 52-week high yesterday. Congrats to the longs, but is Intel really at the top of its game? Global economic malaise threatens to dampen demand for Intel's chips. Even if we look out to 2012, it's not as if Wall Street is suddenly more upbeat on Intel.
Analysts see Intel earning $2.44 a share next year. Three months ago they were targeting a profit of $2.45 a share.
Check the estimates on the stocks in your portfolio. How many of them are going the wrong way? It's happening an awful lot lately.
Pop go these weasels
Thankfully, there are exceptions to the markdown rule. There are several companies where analysts have actually been increasing their projections over the past few problematic months.
Let's take a look at five companies that are bucking the malaise.
90 Days Ago
Las Vegas Sands
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
When Las Vegas Sands makes news, it sometimes isn't favorable. Between the slowdown on the Vegas strip and allegations of improprieties in Macau, are investors paying attention to the company's actual fundamentals?
Las Vegas Sands is trading closer to its 52-week low than last November's highs. That doesn't seem right given its improving profit picture.
Silver Wheaton is a Vancouver, Canada-based silver streaming company with interests all over the world. It's another stock trading a lot closer to its 52-week low than its 52-week high. Even if precious metals are starting to lose steam, why turn on Silver Wheaton if analysts are even more impressed with its future earnings potential than they were a few months ago?
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is the company behind the Keurig single-cup brewers and the K-Cup refills that provide caffeinated kicks. Green Mountain has been one of the hottest stocks in recent years, but it has no shortage of critics. Legendary hedge fund manager David Einhorn called out Green Mountain earlier this week during a value investing conference.
Einhorn sang the praises of Sprint
Really? The profitless wireless carrier is going the other way. Analysts now see Sprint posting a deficit of $0.91 a share next year, nearly twice the $0.50 a share deficit they were expecting just three months ago.
MasterCard may be a surprising name to see on this list. Aren't debt-fearing consumers spending less these days? They're not, at least when it comes to swiping plastic.
Finally, we have priceline.com, the fast-growing travel portal that these days is generating the vast majority of its bookings outside of the United States.
2012 don't be late
Ben Graham once said that the market is a voting machine in the short run, but a weighing machine in the long run. In other words, the fundamentals will eventually win out over near-term fluctuations. With all five of these companies in better shape than they were three months ago, there's a golden opportunity to game the unfair voting machine.
These five companies are better than they used to be. These five stocks will follow.
If you want to track these five stocks, consider adding them to the My Watchlist feature.