3 Predictions for This Week

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I went out on a limb last week and came out with mixed results.

  • I predicted that Zynga (NAS: ZNGA) would close higher when it began trading on Friday. It didn't pan out that way. The social gaming giant priced at the high end of its projected pricing range of $8.50-$10. The stock popped to $11 at the open, but eventually closed at $9.50. I was wrong.
  • I predicted that shares of Best Buy (NYS: BBY) would fall on Tuesday. The consumer electronics giant is toiling away under a fading model, with little signs of a turnaround. This call did pan out. Best Buy's stock took a meaty 15% hit after the company posted its uninspiring quarterly results on Tuesday. I was right.
  • My final call was for VeriFone Systems (NYS: PAY) to beat Wall Street's profit targets, the way that the payment solutions provider has consistently done over the past year. VeriFone earned $0.53 a share in its latest quarter, just getting past the $0.51 a share that analysts were expecting. It wasn't much, but I'll take it. I was right.

Two for three? Not bad.

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. Red Hat shares will closer higher tomorrow
Red Hat (NYS: RHT) reports its latest quarterly results tonight. There are a few reasons to get excited. A couple of analysts have issued bullish notes in recent weeks. Enterprise software companies have generally held up well this earnings season.

And then there's Red Hat. The provider of Linux-based business software solutions under a subscription model has beaten Wall Street's bottom-line estimates in each of the past three quarters. My call is for a well-received report and conference call tonight that will roll over into positive gains tomorrow.

2. KB Home will post a quarterly loss
After three straight quarters of deficits, analysts see KB Home (NYS: KBH) finally breaking through with a profit.

They're not looking for much. Wall Street's banking on net income of $0.03 a share, well short of the $0.23 a share that it posted a year earlier.

I'm just not that hopeful. We have seen a few positive surprises from some homebuilders, but KB Home isn't trading in the single digits because it's a market darling.

3. Bed Bath & Beyond will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Things seem to always go right for Bed Bath & Beyond (NAS: BBBY) . There always seems to be a hot home-goods trend -- from Roomba vacuuming orbs to Keurig single-cup coffee brewers -- to keep folks flocking to the place that has the widest local selection.

Another thing that Bed Bath & Beyond has done well is consistently land ahead of the pros.

If analysts say that Bed Bath & Beyond earned $0.88 a share in its latest quarter, I'll whip out a "greater than" sign. 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 Bed Bath & Beyond's past year of earnings reports.

 EPS est.EPSSurprise
Q2 2011$0.84$0.9311%
Q1 2011$0.63$0.7214%
Q4 2010$0.97$1.1216%
Q3 2010$0.66$0.7412%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Everything seems to be falling in place for another strong quarter out of Bed Bath & Beyond. After it's beaten estimates by double-digit percentage margins over the past year, there's no reason to believe that Wall Street is any smarter.

Well, that's three predictions right there. Let's see how I fare this week.

If you like to stay on top of what happens next -- and I'm guessing you do because you're reading this article -- how about checking out Motley Fool's top stock for 2012? It's a free report, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

If you want to see how these market calls pan out, consider adding VeriFone Systems and Best Buy to My Watchlist to track upcoming news.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Bed Bath & Beyond. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls in Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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