How Earnings Season Treated This Foolish Retirement Portfolio

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Fools, it's now officially been two years since the last of my 10 retirement stocks were made public. Over the course of this time, the S&P 500 has returned a remarkable 35% -- no doubt impressive by historical standards.

And yet, the $40,000 of my own money that I invested in these stocks has done far better, turning into $56,880 -- or $2,880 better than if I would have simply invested it in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF .

Read below to see how earnings season affected the portfolio, and at the end, I'll offer up access to a special free report on what it'll take for Apple's stock to soar once again.


Publication Date


Vs. S&P 500 (percentage points)













Intuitive Surgical




National Oilwell Varco








Whole Foods











Johnson & Johnson 





Source: YCharts.

The two big winners
Though many of the companies above are trading higher post-earnings than they were before, two in particular had surprisingly positive results. The first of those was Chinese search engine Baidu.

Although the company didn't blow the cover off the ball in its earnings report, it did announce two important details. The first was the acquisition of 91 Wireless, one of the largest mobile app producers in China. That, coupled with the fact that mobile accounted for more than 10% of revenue for the first time, reassured investors that Baidu has a mobile strategy in place.

The other big winner was Apple. While Mac and iPad sales came in light, it was the surprising strength of iPhone sales that shone through in the earnings report. And with Tim Cook continuing to tease us all with great products in the pipeline, investor interest is being piqued.

The many, many middlers
The retirement portfolio was full of middling companies this earnings season -- those that didn't do too bad but certainly didn't wow Wall Street. I'll tackle three of the bigger names here, but I also count PriceSmart, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, and Johnson & Johnson as "middlers" as well.

First among the three was Google. The company announced that revenue grew at a very healthy 19%, while earnings actually fell on a yearly basis. Most important to many investors, advertisers paid 6% less for advertising clicks -- although the total number of clicks was up 23%. 

Second, we have Amazon. The company announced an impressive sales increase of 22%, though CEO Jeff Bezos is continuing to play the long game in waiting for profits to show the same type of growth. Amazon also plans on spending heavily on new hires to meet increased demand, and Bezos himself recently made news by personally buying the Washington Post newspaper.

Finally, we have National Oilwell Varco. Though earnings came in slightly lower than expected, investors don't seem to be panicking. Earnings showed a non-GAAP growth of 13.6%, with all three of the company's segments -- Rig Technology, Petroleum Services, and Distribution & Transmission -- showing positive revenue growth. Most important, the company's backlog continues to grow, and now stands at an all-time high of almost $14 billion.

One big, fat loser
The undisputed loser of the group was the maker of the daVinci Surgical robot, Intuitive Surgical. The company already prepared investors for rough times when it made a pre-earnings announcement that sales of the daVinci in America fell sharply. Things only got worse during the actual release, as the company said this trend could continue through the rest of the year.

Looking ahead, I still think the portfolio's best days are ahead of it. This could easily pan out if Apple's stock were to soar.  Before that can be realized, a few critical things need to fall into place. In The Motley Fool's special free report entitled, "5 Secrets to Apple's Future" you'll get the key factors every Apple investor needs to watch. Just click here now for your free report.

The article How Earnings Season Treated This Foolish Retirement Portfolio originally appeared on

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson,, Baidu, National Oilwell Varco, Whole Foods Market, Intuitive Surgical, and PriceSmart. The Motley Fool recommends, Apple, Baidu, Coca-Cola, Google, Intuitive Surgical, Johnson & Johnson, National Oilwell Varco, PriceSmart, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of, Apple, Baidu, Google, Intuitive Surgical, Johnson & Johnson, National Oilwell Varco, and Whole Foods Market. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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