A full 23 months ago, I identified 10 companies that I would be putting $40,000 of my own retirement money behind. This was, has been, and will continue to be my way of helping the world to invest better.
Since then, that sum of money has grown to $51,760 — a 29.4% increase and $1,720 better than if I had just invested the money in the S&P 500.
Every month, I look over these stocks to see which three are tempting. I call these my “Buy Now” stocks because I think they’re pretty good deals. Read the chart below to see how the whole portfolio has performed, check out my best buys, and at the end I’ll offer up access to a special premium report on one of the 10 stocks that’s been floundering lately.
|Company||Publication Date||Change||Vs. S&P 500|
|PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT)||6/28/11||78.7%||52|
|Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)||7/25/11||22.1%||0|
|Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)||7/12/11||17%||(8)|
|Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)||6/30/11||32.6%||9|
|Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)||8/1/11||38.9%||12|
For the first quarter, revenue increased 31% — though it would have been a more modest 22% without the Motorola acquisition. Earnings increased at a slower pace — roughly 15% — but that was expected given how the company is investing in its future.
But probably the most important number came from a continued trend in paid clicks. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has made it clear it is going after volume (more ads) over margins (higher cost per click). That method has paid off, as the number of paid clicks increased 20%, while the cost per click was down only 4% from the year before.
Essentially, the strategy widens Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s moat, getting more customers hooked on its advertising while pricing competitors out of the market.
Though it’s certainly not a perfect analogy, I see Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) as being Google, minus about four years. As people transition from using desktop computers for their Internet searches to mobile devices, companies are paying less for each ad — as they seem to be less effective on mobile devices.