3 Predictions for This Week


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

  • I predicted that Pandora Media (NYS: P) would close higher on Thursday. The music discovery website is trading well below last year's IPO price, but the metrics revealed ahead of its Wednesday night report were encouraging. Pandora's now serving more than a billion listening hours of ad-backed stream a month! Well, the report was a strong one. Revenue climbed by a better than expected 58%, and Pandora's deficit was just half as bad as what the analysts were forecasting. Pandora's stock soared 12% higher on the day. I was right.

  • 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 has won most of the early rounds this quarter. Well, I caught a break this week. The Dow may have inched 0.7% higher, but NASDAQ tripled that return to climb 2.1% on the week. I was right.

  • My final call was for PetSmart (NAS: PETM) to beat what Wall Street analysts were forecasting on the bottom line in its latest quarter. The pet supplies retailer and veterinary services provider has been doing that consistently over the past year, so why get in the way of a favorable trend? Well, it was no dog day for the retailer. PetSmart's quarterly profit of $0.85 was well ahead of the $0.73 a share that analysts were expecting. I was right.

Three out of three? Awesome!

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. The Fresh Market will close higher on Wednesday.
The Fresh Market (NAS: TFM) operates a chain of high-end grocery stores. It also just happens to be reporting its quarterly results on Wednesday morning.

This earnings season has delivered strong results out of other high-end supermarket chains and retailers. Consumers apparently feel comfortable enough in parting with a little more money for premium edibles.

Even though you have to go back three quarters to find the last time that The Fresh Market actually beat analyst expectations, the climate is right for at least a well-received and upbeat report.

2. The NASDAQ Composite will beat the Dow this week.
Betting on tech over stodgy blue chips was a steady winning bet for me earlier this year. Investors have been nervously rotating out of the tech bellwethers in recent weeks, and that's been making this call a bad bet lately. It seemed so easy when the market was pulling off back-to-back quarters of double-digit percentage gains, but I'm going to stick with this one. Most of the names in the composite are just too cheap at this point.

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

TiVo (NAS: TIVO) is the patent-rich pioneer of the DVR.

Things haven't exactly gone according to plan at the company. Most people that have a DVR -- even if they use TiVo as a verb -- probably don't own an actual TiVo recorder. That's not the end of the world for TiVo. Its deep library of patents keeps many cable TV providers paying Tivo royalties for incorporating Tivo-like functions into their boxes.

If analysts say that the company lost $0.15 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.

EPS Est.



Q1 2011




Q2 2011




Q3 2011




Q4 2011




Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course.

A lot of the royalties and one-time payments that have resulted in welcome windfalls can always dry up. The number of TiVo-owned subscribers -- a metric that actually improved recently after a couple of years of decline -- can turn lower again.

However, there are no signs of TiVo fumbling this quarter to the point of losing more money than Mr. Market is expecting.

Everything still seems to be falling into place for another strong quarter on the bottom line.

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

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At the time thisarticle was published 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 the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of The Fresh Market and PetSmart. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not 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.

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