3 Predictions for Next Week


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

  • I predicted that Rite Aid would close higher on the week. I thought the turnaround story at the drugstore chain has been validated with every passing quarter, and even though the stock was already at a five-year high, I believed that Thursday's quarterly report would be enough to push the retailer higher. Rite Aid did come through with better-than -xpected results, but it's hard to impress the market when the Dow is getting slammed. After closing higher on Monday, Rite Aid shares proceeded to head lower every single day after that. I was wrong.

  • I predicted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq would outperform the Dow Jones Industrial Average. . This has been a tricky call lately, so how did it play out this time? Well, the market closed sharply lower this week. The Nasdaq moved 1.9% lower, but the Dow managed to close just 1.8% lower. I was wrong.

  • My final call was for Kroger to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The supermarket operator has been posting blowout quarterly results over the past year, and I was banking on seeing the trend continue. Analysts were looking for a profit of $0.88 a share during the quarter, and it came through with net income of $0.92 a share. I was right.

One out of three? Bummer! 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. BlackBerry will close lower on the week
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about BlackBerry as it reports quarterly results on Friday. The smartphone pioneer is expected to post a small quarterly profit, which would reverse a sharp loss a year earlier. We'll also get our first official snapshot of how the devices running BlackBerry's updated operating system are doing. It helps that BlackBerry just rolled out cheaper smartphones to help grow outside its high-end corporate niche.

However, the stock has already more than doubled since bottoming out last summer. This naturally leads to higher expectations while its rivals are only getting hungrier. I haven't seen too many new BlackBerry devices in the wild lately. Have you?

My first call is for BlackBerry shares to move lower on the week.

2.The Nasdaq Composite will beat the Dow this week
Tech has been a big winner in recent years, so betting on tech over stodgy blue chips has been a good bet for me more often than not. I'm going to stick with this pick. Most of the names in the composite are just too cheap at this point, and tech should be what carries us through the economic recovery.

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

General Mills is a titan among food brands. The cereal thriller is best known for Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Wheaties, and other breakfast cereals, but General Mills is also the company behind Green Giant veggies, Yoplait yogurt, and Pillsbury bake-ready treats.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company posted a profit of $0.53 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 Estimate



Q4 2012




Q1 2013




Q2 2013




Q3 2013




Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. There's top-line consistency when it comes to foodstuffs, but margins can be all over the map. Grocers operate on razor-thin margins, and wild fluctuations in prices or the inability to pass increases on to end users can sting the bottom line.

However, it's hard to argue against the trend. Everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.

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

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