Mishlove: Stocks to Buy on Thursday

Hey folks, here's guest blogger Jeff Mishlove's contest picks for today:

Even though my seven stock choices for Tuesday were far from my best for this contest, the first stock on my list, Champion Enterprises did quite well, gaining 8.8% in a single day. And, another top choice, Interwoven, Inc. also gained 3.9% between Tuesday’s close and Wednesday’s close.

Here are my four recommendations for stocks to buy on Thursday. All of them will be making earnings announcements. I am presenting my favored choices first.

Tempur-Pedic International , the mattress maker, has a lot going for it. It is held in the portfolio of at least seven different professional funds. The stock is at an all-time high right now. In the past 52 weeks the price has risen 84.5%. This has attracted a crowd of skeptics. Over 17% of the stock float is controlled by short sellers. Earnings will be reported after the market closes on Thursday. If the news is good, as would seem to be the market’s belief (based on the healthy 2.49% jump the stock had on Wednesday), the short sellers will head for the door.

Sensient Technologies , a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, company that manufactures colors, flavors and fragrances, exhibits a very similar profile. The stock is very close to its all-time high. It has risen over 51% in the last year. Short sellers control over 8% of the stock float. The forward P/E ratio is only 16.5, so the stock is relatively inexpensive.

Cerner provides information technology for the healthcare industry. This stock sits within 5% of its all-time high price. Skeptical short sellers control over 17% of the stock float.

Intuitive Surgical is a fascinating company that makes robotic equipment for performing surgery. It is held in the portfolio of at least seven professional funds. This stock was once a strong momentum play. But, it has been bouncing around in a trading range for over a year. It is near the top of that range right now. According to The Motley Fool, investor sentiment for this stock is very strong. Yet, short sellers still control almost 10% of the stock float.

A lot of time, research and thought have gone into these selections. But, as I conclude this blog, I realize that it must be with a sense of humility. At the end of the day, the best stock pickers are making educated guesses of a probabilistic nature. The market, it seems, has a mind of its own. Let’s see what it tells us tomorrow.

Jeffrey Mishlove is founder of www.forecastingsystems.com. On most days, he can be found hiking in the Red Rock National Conservation area near his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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