Fools, it’s now officially been two years since the last of my 10 retirement stocks were made public. Over the course of this time, the S&P 500 has returned a remarkable 35% — no doubt impressive by historical standards.
And yet, the $40,000 of my own money that I invested in these stocks has done far better, turning into $56,880 — or $2,880 better than if I would have simply invested it in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF .
Read below to see how earnings season affected the portfolio, and at the end, I’ll offer up access to a special free report on what it’ll take for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s stock to soar once again.
|Company||Publication Date||Change||Vs. S&P 500 (percentage points)|
|Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)||9/15/12||22.2%||(12)|
|Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG)||7/25/11||(2.8%)||(35)|
|National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV)||7/28/11||(9.4%)||(45)|
|Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)||7/12/11||40.6%||6|
|Johnson & Johnson||8/1/11||55.9%||19|
The two big winners
Though many of the companies above are trading higher post-earnings than they were before, two in particular had surprisingly positive results. The first of those was Chinese search engine Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU).
Although the company didn’t blow the cover off the ball in its earnings report, it did announce two important details. The first was the acquisition of 91 Wireless, one of the largest mobile app producers in China. That, coupled with the fact that mobile accounted for more than 10% of revenue for the first time, reassured investors that Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has a mobile strategy in place.
The other big winner was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). While Mac and iPad sales came in light, it was the surprising strength of iPhone sales that shone through in the earnings report. And with Tim Cook continuing to tease us all with great products in the pipeline, investor interest is being piqued.
The many, many middlers
The retirement portfolio was full of middling companies this earnings season — those that didn’t do too bad but certainly didn’t wow Wall Street. I’ll tackle three of the bigger names here, but I also count PriceSmart, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, and Johnson & Johnson as “middlers” as well.
First among the three was Google. The company announced that revenue grew at a very healthy 19%, while earnings actually fell on a yearly basis. Most important to many investors, advertisers paid 6% less for advertising clicks — although the total number of clicks was up 23%.