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"The World's Greatest Growth Portfolio" Has a Big Week Coming Up

By Brian Stoffel – Apr 22, 2013 at 7:54PM

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Four key holdings report earnings this week, with Apple leading it off tomorrow.

Since December 2010, I've tried to mold what I think would be an ideal growth portfolio. My strategy is simple: identify companies with innovation baked into their DNA, and invest in the ones that engender the most confidence.

So far, that approach has worked, as "The World's Greatest Growth Portfolio" is up 31.3% since inception -- outshining the S&P 500's return of 25.2% over the same timeframe. This week is going to be a big one for the portfolio, with five of the 13 companies reporting earnings.

Here's what analysts are expecting:


Earnings Date

Expected Revenue 

Expected Earnings

Apple (AAPL -1.29%)

April 23

$42.5 billion


Baidu (BIDU 0.93%)

April 25

$969 million


Amazon (AMZN -2.18%)

April 25

$16.2 billion


Starbucks (SBUX -0.39%)

April 25

$3.6 billion


Source: E*TRADE.

Perhaps no company's earnings announcement is as highly anticipated or closely watched as Apple's. The company that used to be the world's most highly valued has seen its stock fall 43% since September. That came following earnings announcements that missed expectations, and worries about whether the company could continue to out-innovate the competition for much longer.

If you want to really dig into the numbers when they are released, analysts are expecting about 35 million iPhones to be sold, along with around 17 million iPads. Those two products accounted for 72% of the company's revenue over the past fiscal period, so sales of these two products alone could help you gauge how the last quarter went.

Baidu is another stock that will be closely watched this week. Even though the company's search engine has an 80% market share and has shown impressive revenue and earnings growth, it's stock is now trading for cheaper than it ever has.

Bears are worried that the high-growth era is over in China, that margins will start compressing as the company has to focus on a mobile strategy, and that competition from others is getting more intense. I'll be looking to see how many new business-advertising partners the company has gained from last year's 596,000 -- and how much more each of those customers is willing to spend for Baidu ads.
This company keeps growing revenue in surprising fashion. Even though Amazon is a well-established presence, the company has been able to grow revenue by 33% per year over the past five years. Along with it, however, the company has been spending gobs of money to build out its physical infrastructure of fulfillment centers and on new technology like e-readers.

So far, investors have shown unusual patience with CEO Jeff Bezos' strategy to spend money now to make more later. With earnings expected at only $0.09, it'll be interesting to see how patient investors continue to be over the short term. Either way, I'm behind this company 100%, as it's my easily my largest personal holding.

Many people have seen the spoof in The Onion about a Starbucks opening up a new store inside one of its bathrooms. With that kind of reputation, it'd be easy to think that this company is over-saturated. The truth is, though, that expanding beyond coffee to carefully selected foods, and focusing on international markets, has Starbucks trading for more than 30 times earnings.

China is currently a hot spot for growth, so I'll be looking to see whether that trend is continuing, as well as checking on other regions where the company is looking for growth. I'll also keep my eye on comments from management about the progression of food opportunities coming from my next visit to Starbucks.

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple,, Starbucks, and Baidu. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of, Apple, Baidu, and Starbucks. 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.

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Stock Quote
$144.74 (-1.29%) $-1.89 Stock Quote
$89.03 (-2.18%) $-1.99
Starbucks Stock Quote
$103.15 (-0.39%) $0.40
Baidu Stock Quote
$118.01 (0.93%) $1.09

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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