By Louis Navellier of InvestorPlaceNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Each earnings season I get awfully excited. As a growth investor, my simple trading strategies place a huge priority on sales, earnings and other quarterly numbers. That means earnings season is "where's the beef" time for stocks and the best opportunity to identify the best investments in the stock market for your retirement money. In fact today, I'm going to give you 10 stocks to buy that I think should be closely watched this earnings season for breakout potential! Let's get right to all the details for these stocks to buy:
TRW Automotive ( TRW): TRW makes components for approximately 40 automakers, including Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The company operates nearly 200 facilities in more than two dozen countries worldwide and that's why approximately 75% of its sales come from outside the U.S. This is another stock that has been a strong buy for the last year and has had an incredible earnings record. Take last quarter, for instance, when the company posted a 126% earnings surprise! The stock was recently caught up in some of the market volatility so at its current price it is a great bargain.Impax Laboratories ( IPXL): Impax makes specialty generic pharmaceuticals, specifically focusing on controlled-releaseversions of branded drugs and niche treatments that require difficult-to-obtain raw materials or specialized expertise. A chart of IPXL in the last 12 months shows an unstoppable uptrend accentuated by increasing earnings. Last quarter the company reported a 303% earnings surprise and analysts have upped earnings estimates from $0.30 to $0.56 for the current quarter. I bet that the company will beat these estimates and will continue to post huge earnings in the quarters ahead. Cimerex Energy ( XEC): Cimerex may not be a familiar name to you, but all you need to know is that this company is a $6 billion oil and gas exploration corporation that operates in the central United States. The company has had more of a conservative earnings surprise history, but analyst estimates for the second quarter have increased 20% in the last 90 days. With troubles in offshore drilling, land based operations are getting more attention, which is good news for XEC. Spreadtrum Communications ( SPRD): Spreadtrum designs and markets communications chips for the red-hot wireless telecom market. SPRD semiconductors, which are compatible with a range of international wireless standards, are sold to manufacturers of cell phones, which then incorporate them into their products. SPRD had a 225% earnings surprise last quarter, but by the time the company reported, the stock was already up nearly 40% in anticipation. The stock is starting its next run ahead of earnings, so you'll want to make this trade now and sell before earnings come out.
Whirlpool ( WHR): Whirlpool is a name you probably never guessed would be a stock to buy for earnings, especially since big-ticket consumer items aren't exactly in high demand. But this company jumped from under $90 a share to more than $115 on excitement over earnings. Analysts are predicting another great quarter and I would buy this one for the run up ahead of earnings and sell at or just before the report comes out.Wintrust Financial ( WTFC): Wintrust is actually a strange play for earnings season. However, my advice is a short-term swing trade for this stock that is not solely based on fundamentals. This company likes to run up as much as 100% ahead of earnings and like clockwork, sells off after the report. Earnings look to be strong this quarter, estimates are up and now is the right time to buy. Do not be left holding the stock after the earnings date, however, because you could quickly find your position retracing all of its gains. Power-One ( PWER): Power-One is a stock that loves to jump as much as 30% on the day of and shortly after earnings. This company is in the renewable energy industry, which often experiences sales in waves and, therefore, is tough to predict which quarters will have high revenue. Just a few days of deferred payment can make or break companies like this and that's why traders wait for the numbers. If you can trade in and out quickly of this position, I suggest you take a small stake. Select Comfort ( SCSS): Select Comfort is the company behind the Sleep Number brand of beds. While their customers are looking for a calm, peaceful night's rest, traders like to bounce the stock higher each earnings season. Last quarter the stock went from $8.65 to a high of $11.78 in the few trading days surrounding earnings. This 36% increase in the stock came from a 55% surprise and I think SCSS can do it again this quarter. Volterra Semiconductor ( VLTR): Volterra is a fantastic small-cap stock that makes low-voltage power supply chips. Estimates are up 37%, the company has had two consecutive earnings surprises and in the past it has jumped on earnings. Last quarter it increased $1 per share after earnings and the quarter before that it gained $3.31, and that was just in one day! As of this writing, Louis Navellier owned a position in IPXL, SPRD and VLTR.