3 Predictions for This Week

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

  • I predicted that Netflix (NAS: NFLX) would close higher on Tuesday. The video-service giant posted quarterly results on Monday. Even though Netflix wound up delivering a solid financial performance during its first quarter -- posting a substantially narrower deficit than what the market was expecting -- soft revenue guidance and problems in Latin America crushed the stock. I was wrong.
  • I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) . This was a consistent winning call during the first quarter, but the Dow 30 had gotten the best of tech stocks during the two previous weeks. Well, secondary stocks bounced back this time. The Nasdaq delivered a 2.3% gain on the week, beating out the Dow and its 1.5% advance. I was right.
  • My final call was for Crocs (NAS: CROX) to beat what Wall Street analysts were projecting on the bottom line in its latest quarter. The maker of the oft-lampooned resin shoes delivered on that end. The footwear maker came through with a profit of $0.31 a share, well ahead of the $0.26 the market was forecasting. A ho-hum outlook stung the stock, but it was a beat on the bottom line. I was right.

Two out of three? I can do better than that!

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. Green Mountain will close higher on Thursday
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NAS: GMCR) has been roughed up in recent weeks. Fears over the entry of a rival coffee machine later this year, uncertainty about upcoming patent expirations, and a claim from at least one analyst of slowing K-Cup sales are slowing have all taken their toll.

I relish weakness ahead of an earnings report when a company has a history of burning the cynics, and that's exactly what the company behind the Keurig single-serve platform has done over the years.

Wall Street is eyeing a 33% pop in profitability on a 50% surge in revenue when Green Mountain reports on Wednesday after the market close. Should a company growing this quickly in a premium consumer-facing category really be trading for just 18 times this year's projected profitability and only 13 times next year's target?

It only helps that Green Mountain has blown away Wall Street estimates in three of the past four quarters. The climate is right for another solid beat, followed by a short-covering rally the following trading day.

2.The Nasdaq Composite will beat the Dow this week 
Betting on tech over stodgy blue chips has been a steady bet for me all year. Things didn't go my way earlier this month, but tech stocks bounced back last month.

The market is ripe for the tech-stacked secondary stocks to continue to outpace the 30 megacaps that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

3. Whole Foods Market will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat-out better than others.

Whole Foods Market (NAS: WFM) is the country's leading organic grocery store chain. After snapping up its nearest rival, Wild Oats, several years ago, Whole Foods has been able to expand throughout the country as the undisputed leader when it comes to produce that's organically grown and meats that are humanely farmed.

If analysts say the company earned $0.59 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 the past year of earnings reports.

Quarter

EPS Estimate

EPS

Surprise

Q2 2011$0.46$0.5111%
Q3 2011$0.48$0.504%
Q4 2011$0.41$0.422%
Q1 2012$0.60$0.658%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. The same shoppers who have flocked back to Whole Foods after trading down during the darkest recessionary stretches can retreat again, ending the company's streak of healthy store-level comps. However, there aren't any signs that consumers are tiring of Whole Foods and its merchandise. Everything still seems to be falling into place for another strong quarter on the bottom line.

Three for the road
Well, there are 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 The Motley Fool's top stock for 2012? It's a free report, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Whole Foods Market.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Netflix, and Whole Foods Market and creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He owns shares of Netflix and Green Mountain and is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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