Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT
For stockpicking contests such as
the goal is not to find the best stock investments for the next 10 years, but to find ones that can either snap back this week because of an irrational selloff the week before or explode higher because of some other potential catalyst the coming week.
With a volatile stock, all you really need is the potential for the short-sellers to start panicking and the momentum trades to start piling in. For example, look at
, which rallied about 30% last week after raising its first-quarter estimates. With 65% of the float short, this positive news forced the shorts to cover, which led to the sharp rally.
But before I highlight a few stocks from this week's
let's see how
- Halliburton (HAL) - Get Free Report: Finished the week up 4.6% after Goldman Sachs upgraded shares to buy from neutral.
- Nabors (NBR) - Get Free Report: Finished the week up 3.7%.
- Arch Coal (ACI) - Get Free Report: Finished up 3.3% on the week.
- VMware (VMW) - Get Free Report: Finished the week up 1.1% on a pure snapback trade.
- Eli Lilly (LLY) - Get Free Report: Down 1.6% for the week.
- Genentech (DNA) : Finished down 4% on the week.
- China Telecom (CHA) - Get Free Report: Finished the week down 5.5%.
- F5 Networks (FFIV) - Get Free Report: Finished the week up 6.4%.
- China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP) - Get Free Report: Finished the week down 10%.
- Greenbrier (GBX) - Get Free Report: Finished the week down 13.8% after reporting an earnings miss of 5 cents per share.
Now, let's look at a few picks from
Keep an eye on
, which is set to report earnings on Tuesday.
For starters, Forest posted great numbers last time around, with an impressive beat of 21 cents a share, and it even raised its full-year guidance. So far, most analysts did not factor in this increase in guidance. In fact, Goldman Sachs downgraded the company's shares in February.
The company currently has four phase III trails, one phase II trial and one phase II-b trial all ending in the next six quarters. So despite the fact that most of its revenue is going generic in 2012, there are multiple ways to win with this company.
Forest Labs has a very clean balance sheet, with $1.77 billion in cash and no debt.
Look for any update on any one of its drugs in its quaretrly report to possibly propel shares higher.
Also keep an eye on
, a micro-cap stock that is a speculative play on a wireless trend inside China that likely will prove to be a national trend for many years to come.
The company manufactures and sells wireless products and services to telecommunication companies inside China. It currently has $30 million in cash and a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 7.
For more detailed analysis and the rest of this week's picks, including
, check out the
As always, to find the snapbacks and potential breakouts on a regular basis, check out these Stockpickr portfolios, which I use in my own research each week:
- Today's Hot List: This daily list is a must-view every midday to see what stocks are making the biggest moves and why.
- Always check the Biggest Percentage Losers, a list of stocks that lost big the day before, because they can snap back hard. When you check this list on Stockpickr, you can see which stocks are owned by the quality hedge funds and mutual funds. Pay attention to those. They will be buying at the lower prices, so you should be also.
- Ditto for the 52-week-low list. You must check the above two lists every day if you hope to find volatile stocks.
- Biotech Short Squeezes: Dendreon (DNDN) and others can often be found in this category.
- Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume: These are potential breakout stocks.
- Stockpickr's System Trades of the Day: These are trades triggering that day in various back tested trading systems we've developed.
- Stocks With Unusual Option Activity: Perhaps someone knows something?
- Latest Activist Situations: These are beaten-down stocks that hedge funds are accumulating shares of and demanding change in. Believe me, these hedge funds piggyback each other. And once they start rocking the boat, things happen quickly. This should be on your must-view list.
Another place to frequent is the
section on Stockpickr, where ideas such as those presented in this article are thrown around daily. And you can further discuss your ideas and share opinions in Stockpickr's
At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
James Altucher is president of
LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the
and the author of
Trade Like a Hedge Fund
Trade Like Warren Buffett
. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.
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