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Apple Inc. (AAPL), Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (ULTA): 3 Predictions for Next Week

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I went out on a limb last week, and now it’s time to see how that decision played out.

I predicted that Titan Machinery Inc. (NASDAQ:TITN) would close lower on the week. The specialty retailer of agricultural and construction equipment has been disappointing on the bottom line in recent quarters, and analysts were expecting Titan Machinery Inc. (NASDAQ:TITN) to post its first quarterly deficit since going public six years ago come Thursday. It did. The stock declined 0.5% 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 saved itself by rallying on Friday. The Nasdaq moved 0.4% higher on the week. The Dow managed to close 0.9% lower. I was wrong.

My final call was for Francesca’s Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FRAN) to beat Wall Street’s income estimates in its latest quarter. The rapidly expanding boutique operator 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 $0.26 a share during the quarter, and it merely matched that target. That was close, but not what I had predicted. I was wrong.

One out of three? Bummer! I was an impressive 16 out of 18 over the six previous 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.

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

1. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will close higher on the week

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has shed more than 37% of its value since peaking the day the iPhone 5 hit the market late last year. Patient investors are holding out for catalysts at a time when earnings are falling, margins are contracting, and revenue growth has slowed to a crawl.

Things could change this week. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) kicks off its annual conference for developers on Monday, and the weeklong WWDC 2013 event should also give investors reasons to get excited about the consumer tech giant’s near-term future. Between operating system updates and the potential for new product and product-category announcements, this new week is a good a time for a long overdue rally.

My first call is for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares to move higher for 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.Ulta Beauty will beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates

Some stocks are just flat-out better than others.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) is a fast-growing chain of 550 stores that sell beauty products and offer salon services. Net sales soared 25% last year, fueled by a healthy expansion activity and an 8.8% spike in comps.

Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company posted a profit of $0.62 a share in its latest quarter, I’ll whip out a “greater than” sign. History’s on my side!

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