By Louis Navellier of Investor Place
NEW YORK (
) -- Now that the holidays are well behind us, it's time to get down to business!
The market is now celebrating the best earnings environment that we will likely witness in our lifetimes, and our focus on sales and profits will be handsomely rewarded as these companies report results in the weeks ahead.
What's more, we've seen a big shift towards international blue-chips, and that means big things for our picks this month.
The combination of a strong earnings season for our picks and a global economic recovery should really boost the following five stocks in the weeks ahead.
Top Stock No. 1:
My No. 1 stock for the month, based on its tremendous earnings report in January, is Apple. The company is flying high due to strong iPod sales, rapid iPhone 3GS adoption around the world and momentum from its Mac computer line.
Specifically, Apple's profits jumped 50% during its fiscal first quarter thanks to record sales of $15.68 billion over the holiday shopping season.
While some techies are a bit disappointed with the much-anticipated iPad device, I'm thrilled that Apple chose to offer a good product at an outstanding price instead of an outstanding product at an unreachable price. I remain confident the $499 entry price for the iPad will spark huge sales and take Apple to the next level.
So strike now while people are badmouthing the iPad, because once huge sales of this gadget are recorded, investors will race for a piece of Apple once more. This stock is an excellent buy right now. Shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday, shares of Apple were trading at $194.88, up 15 cents.
Top Stock No. 2:
Priceline continues to thrive as shoppers take to the Internet to name their own price.
In the case of airline tickets and hotel reservations, Priceline.com keeps the difference between the price paid by the individual and what Priceline.com paid for the ticket or hotel room.
You may not think that travel spending is very high right now, but the bottom line is that value-conscious consumers really love Priceline's ability to "haggle" on prices. This has allowed the Web site to become an oasis for cash-strapped consumers, and I expect continued growth in the weeks ahead.
The numbers show how great Priceline is doing right now.
The company announced that its third-quarter earnings rose 98.3% to $3.45 per share compared with $1.74 per share in the same quarter a year ago. During the same period, Priceline's sales rose 30% to $730.7 million, and the company cites an "exceptionally strong" summer travel season as consumers took advantage of its travel bargains.
The analyst community expected third-quarter earnings of $2.92 per share, so the company posted an 18.2% earnings surprise. Looking forward, Priceline expects full-year earnings of $1.52 to $1.62 per share, which is better than analysts' consensus estimate of $1.49 per share. Shares of Priceline were trading at $203.16, down $1.04.
Top Stock No. 3:
AmBev, or more formally Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas, dominates the Brazilian beverage market producing various brands of beer and distributing Pepsi and Lipton products throughout Latin America.
As consumers in Latin America become more affluent, they aren't just buying more cars and televisions. An emerging middle class is buying upscale consumer staples from AmBev and really pushing this stock to new heights. I expect the global recovery to continue to boost this stock. AmBev shares were trading at $96.83, up $1.49
Top Stock No. 4:
Baidu is the leading Chinese-language Internet search engine with more than 70% of China's search market. Baidu earns nearly all of its revenue through online advertising services but also operates a network of third-party Web sites and online communities. As the emerging market of China continues to lead the global economic recovery, more businesses and consumers are jumping online to become part of the 21st century workforce. This means explosive growth for Baidu in 2010. Shares of Baidu were trading at $424.49, down $1.19.
Top Stock No. 5:
Marvell Technology Group is a Bermuda-based firm that offers data storage and broadband communications gear. This "fabless" semiconductor company designs and sells hardware, but outsources the actual fabrication of the devices to keep down costs.
Marvell is a global player, deriving more than 80% of its revenue from Asia, though it relies on just a few customers like
for the bulk of its sales traffic. As high-tech devices like smartphones and laptops pick up in sales, Marvell will see demand for its products spike as well in 2010. Marvell shares were trading at $18.62, up 7 cents.
At the time of publication, Navellier had no positions in stocks mentioned.
One of Wall Street's renowned growth investors, Louis Navellier is the editor of four investing newsletters: Emerging Growth (formerly known as MPT Review), Blue Chip Growth, Quantum Growth and Global Growth. His longest-running publication, Emerging Growth, has a track record of beating the market nearly 3 to 1. Navellier is the author of a BusinessWeek bestseller, "The Little Book That Makes You Rich," and the chairman and founder of Navellier & Associates, Inc.