NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's a new stock-picking champion. MarketWatch's Cody Willard has taken the Smackdown crown from TheStreet'sScott Moritz, previous champ.
The market swoon Friday helped salvage some of Moritz's pride, but his portfolio never recovered from the bruising one-two punch of Intel (INTC) and Adtran (ADTN), both of which Willard was heavily long.
In the final tally of fake cash, Willard booked a $470 profit, or 4.6% gain on his $10,000 pretend investment for the week. Moritz, whose book was colored red all week, was down as low as 7% early on. He ended with a 2% loss, a deficit of $200 in his $10,000 initial play-money allocation.
Willard's winning strategy was to put $8,000 on Intel and networking gearmaker Adtran, which both blew past earnings targets Tuesday. Moritz, who took an all long strategy last quarter, reversed that move this time. Moritz went short Intel, Adtran, Polycom (PLCM), Google (GOOG) and National Beverage (FIZZ).The drama heated up after the bell Tuesday as Willard and Moritz squared off on Intel and networking gearmaker Adtran. Moritz was $4,000 short on the two stocks. And collectively, Willard staked $8,000 of his $10,000 total pretend allocation on the long side. Willard saw Adtran as part of "a major spend cycle to build up the wireless networks you use for your iPad, iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and wireless cards." Despite being dead wrong on Intel and Adtran, Moritz almost made up lost ground with two spot on bets against Google and teleconference specialist Polycom. Google's troubling flat-growth pace and rising costs led to a 7% dip in the stock Friday. And Polycom strangely fell 10% Friday despite posting strong numbers and guidance. And, as Moritz predicted, Shasta soda maker National Beverage fizzled, but only 3% Friday. It was nowhere near enough to offset the Intel and Adtran damage. So Kudos to the new champ, Cody Willard. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.
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