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

  • I predicted that Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) would do more than merely break even in its latest quarter as analysts were forecasting. The chip giant with a presence in everything from PCs to all three major video game consoles has been posting healthy bottom-line results lately. It wound up posting an adjusted profit of $0.02 a share. I was right.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has been clobbering the Nasdaq Composite lately, so I went a different way this time around. My second prediction was simply that the Nasdaq would post a gain for the holiday-shortened trading week. It did. The Nasdaq Composite soared 2.4%. I was right.
  • My final call was for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The health care and consumer products giant 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 a profit of $1.54 a share. Analysts had been projecting net income of only $1.48 a share. I was right.

Three out of three? Awesome! I needed that after striking out the week before.

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. Netflix will move higher on the week
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 last year, but it's been correcting in recent weeks. It's the undisputed champ among premium online streaming video services, but bears argue that the stock's valuation is out of whack.

After shedding nearly 25% of its value since peaking last month, it seems as if Netflix is ready to bounce back. A prediction without a catalyst wouldn't be prudent, so let me point out that Netflix will report quarterly results after Monday's market close.

Netflix has blown past Wall Street's profit targets with ease in its three most recent quarters, and subscriber growth continues at a torrid pace. It continues to pad its lead in this growing category, and another strong report has to be the smart bet.

My first call is for Netflix to move higher this 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. I went to just picking the Nasdaq to post in positive territory last week, but now I'm going to return to my familiar prediction for the week ahead. My second call is for the Nasdaq Composite to beat the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the week.

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

iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) is the company behind the Roomba orbs that scurry around the floor as robotic vacuum cleaners. Away from the home, iRobot also makes military robotics that help keep soldiers out of harm's way.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say that the company posted a profit of $0.72 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.


EPS Estimate



Q1 2013




Q2 2013




Q3 2013




Q4 2013




Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. Analysts actually see a sharp drop in profitability this time around, and after back-to-back blowout quarters to kick off 2013, iRobot closed out the year with more modest beats. It's still hard to argue against the overall trend. Everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.