This article is part of the Real-Money Stock Picks portfolio series.
In the Messed-Up Expectations real-money portfolio I run for The Motley Fool, I've owned these two companies for quite a while. And I believe both of them will do well over the holiday season and into the future, thanks to some new products being released.
One, of course, is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), whose iProducts are flying off the shelves, including the new iPad Air. Persistent rumors about a carrier deal with China Mobile feed the imagination of investors with visions of Apple selling iPhones to 750 million more people. And CEO Tim Cook says that several new products are coming along in 2014.
All of a sudden, Apple appears to be in the market's good graces again. Unfortunately, I did not buy any shares since last December, so I missed some bargain prices (in retrospect). But better late than never, especially as I believe the share price will be much higher five years down the road and will beat the market over that half-decade. As I wrote here, don't anchor on past prices; instead, look forward.
The Game King
The other company, perhaps surprising to many, is GameStop (NYSE:GME). After the last gaming console release fanfare died down, and the rise of mobile and online gaming became obvious, many left this brick-and-mortar retailer for dead. Yet the company refused to die. It got a very successful loyalty program going and started mining data from its customers, which helped keep profit margins and return on equity fairly steady during the recession. It survived, even thrived, as a new- and used-game provider.
With the release of the PS4 from Sony and the Xbox One from Microsoft, I expect GameStop will only get better, as console gaming begins to grow again. It's showing up in the numbers, too. In the third quarter,, same-store sales grew 20.5%, thanks in large part to strong releases like Grand Theft Auto V and high interest in the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS systems.
Yet its Q4 forecasts were lower than Wall Street's expectations (heightened by those console releases), helping the shares fall back from their 52-week high. Wall Street is too focused on the near term, which gives me, a long-term investor -- this company was one of the MUE portfolio's first purchases back in late 2010 -- an opportunity to pick up some more shares.
The Messed-Up Expectations portfolio will buy shares of both Apple and GameStop this week, as soon as Fool trading rules allow. Come discuss these moves on the portfolio's discussion board.