October 2012 has come and gone, and that means we only have two months left in the year. So far, including dividends reinvested, the S&P 500 has returned 13.5%. That's definitely above average, and nothing to be discouraged with.
And yet, if you had used my hypothetical "World's Greatest Growth Portfolio" as a guide, you would be up 22.3%. It's only been 10 months, so I'm not declaring victory any time soon; but the results so far speak for themselves.
Below, I'll tell you what to keep your eye on in November, identify four stocks that I think are buys right now, and offer access to a special premium report on one of the stocks in my portfolio.
Jan. 1st balance
Google (NAS: GOOG)
Westport Innovations (NAS: WPRT)
IPG Photonics (NAS: IPGP)
Baidu (NAS: BIDU)
Source: Fool.com, all numbers accurate as of market close, November 1st, 2012.
Though many of the stocks are down from last month, so is the overall market. One bright spot has been Stratasys. Though the company didn't report earnings in October, positive earnings numbers from industry counterpart 3D Systems boosted shares.
Looking forward to November, here are the portfolio candidates reporting earnings in November, and what analysts are expecting.
While I usually only single out three stocks each month that are "buys", I'll actually be picking four for November, as I just couldn't eliminate any of them.
The best buys
First on my list is China's dominant search engine, Baidu. The company reported earnings that disappointed investors recently, but I don't think the sky is falling, and I'm not alone. While the company may have missed earnings expectations and lowered guidance for the fourth quarter, some perspective is needed. The company now trades for just 24 times earnings, even though revenue grew by 50%, and earnings by 63%. Even if rival Qihoo 360 is growing, Baidu has a dominant presence, and the number of Chinese users continues to grow.
Next up is the world's largest company, Apple. I'll be the first to admit that it's no fun to see a company miss on earnings and then unexpectedly shake things up in the front office. I'll be keeping my eye on how the competition is measuring up to Apple but, for the time being, the stock is now trading for just 13.5 times earnings and 9.5 times free cash flow, both very low numbers.
Third on my list is IPG Photonics. The company behind a relatively new technology -- fiber-optic lasers -- reported earnings earlier this week that came in ahead of expectations. The market, though, wasn't impressed, as IPG said that the fourth quarter could be weaker than expected. Long-term investors, though, shouldn't worry too much. IPG is a leader making a type of laser that's more powerful and cheaper than previous iterations. Industrial customers will eventually come around. In the meantime, the stock trades for just 20 times earnings.
Finally, we have Google. The company joins the list of those reporting disappointing earnings recently. I've already done a write-up on why I think there's no need to panic, which you can read here. For those who don't wish to click over, the long and short is that the company continues to execute on its core businesses, while being led under the deft hand of Larry Page in expanding its services in a wise manner.
There's certainly a lot to digest here, but if you want to dig a little deeper on what I think is the best of these four right now, take a look at what we have to offer on Baidu.
The article 4 "Buy Now" Stocks from the World's Greatest Growth Portfolio originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple, Amazon.com, Google, Intuitive Surgical, Stratasys, Lululemon Athletica, Whole Foods Market, Westport Innovations, IPG Photonics, MAKO Surgical , Zipcar, Solazyme, and Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Amazon.com, Baidu, 3D Systems, Google, IPG Photonics, Intuitive Surgical, MAKO Surgical , Solazyme, Whole Foods Market, Westport Innovations, and Zipcar and has the following options: short NOV 2012 $35.00 calls on 3D Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Amazon.com, Baidu, 3D Systems, Google, IPG Photonics, Intuitive Surgical, Lululemon Athletica, MAKO Surgical , Stratasys, Whole Foods Market, Westport Innovations, and Zipcar. 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.
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