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 Clean Energy Fuels would close higher on the week. The provider of natural gas fueling solutions for transportation has been posting narrowing losses, and Wall Street was eyeing a 35% surge in revenue. The company was a solid report. Revenue came in a little light, but bottom-line results improved nicely. Shares of Clean Energy Fuels moved slightly higher on the week. I was right.
  • 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 had a strong run this week, fueled be encouraging economic news. Secondary stocks led the way, with the Nasdaq soaring 1.7% on the week. The Dow managed to close just 1% higher. I was right.
  • My final call was for Compass Diversified Holdings to beat Wall Street's quarterly profit target. The investor in several middle-market companies 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 $0.36 a share during the quarter, but Compass Diversified failed to beat the prognosticators. I was wrong.

Two out of three? I'll take it. That makes me eight of nine over the past three weeks.

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. Stratasys will close higher on the week
Stratasys reports quarterly results on Monday. Three-dimensional printing was a hot trend last year, and the stock soared 164% in 2012. The gains have been more calculated so far in 2013, with shares of trading just 3% higher year to date.

A solid quarterly report on Monday morning and the continuing momentum of tech stocks in general throughout the week should help Stratasys move higher. I'm not just flipping a coin here. Stratasys has beaten Wall Street's income projections in nine of the past 10 quarters.

My call is for shares of Stratasys to movie higher 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. Applied Materials will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat out better than others.

Applied Materials provides gear, services, and software to assist in the making of advanced semiconductors, flat panel displays, and solar photovoltaic products. Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say that the company posted a profit of $0.13 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 2012

$0.24

$0.27

13%

Q3 2012

$0.22

$0.24

9%

Q4 2012

$0.03

$0.06

100%

Q1 2013

$0.03

$0.06

100%

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. Business has been rocky at Applied Materials lately. Displays are sputtering, and solar energy is still hoping to regain traction through Europe and China, where it was starting to take off before the global economic malaise.

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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The article 3 Predictions for Next Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Clean Energy Fuels and Stratasys and owns shares of Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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