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Two Picks for Another Good Year

01/04/2010 1:00 pm EST


Louis Navellier

Editor, Growth Investor, Breakthrough Stocks & Accelerated Profits

Louis Navellier, editor of Blue Chip Growth, says a V-shaped recovery is at hand, and he names two stocks that could profit from a stronger economy.

A V-shaped global recovery is clearly under way. The US economy grew by almost 3% in the third quarter, and many economists are expecting double that growth in the upcoming fourth-quarter numbers.

Also, the job market is firming up, and a clear business recovery is under way.

As positive headlines have continued to roll out, many stocks have been soaring. That's [why it’s] more important than ever before to make sure we are in the very best stocks in the very best sectors.

Alcon (NYSE: ACL) [is] one of the top producers of contact lens solution. But ACL does far more than this, focusing on eye care products of all kinds that include high-tech surgical devices and blockbuster pharmaceuticals. Alcon is also the largest maker of equipment for cataract removal and laser vision correction.

But the real potential of ACL lies in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. About 1.75 million Americans live with advanced macular degeneration, and the number is expected to grow to three million by 2020.

Alcon is really doing well right now, but I expect numbers to pick up even more with the addition of macular degeneration treatments to its bottom line. In the third quarter, sales rose 5.9% to $1.614 billion.

During the same period, earnings declined to $1.71 per share, compared with $2.07 per share, when it included an extraordinary tax gain. The analysts were expecting earnings of $1.45 per share and $1.54 billion in sales, so Alcon posted an 11% earnings surprise and a 4.8% sales surprise.

Alcon raised its forecast for its full year, which excludes one-time costs and benefits, to a range of $6.60 to $6.70 per share, up from its previous forecast three months earlier of $6.25 to $6.40 per share.

(The stock closed above $164 Thursday—Editor.) (Nasdaq: PCLN) allows buyers to name their own price for everything from airline tickets to rental cars to cruises. With its patented business model, the company generates virtually all of its sales from travel-related services. keeps the difference between the price paid by the individual and what paid for the ticket or hotel room.

Value-conscious consumers really love Priceline's ability to "haggle" on prices. This has allowed the Web site to become an oasis for cash-strapped consumers and generate huge numbers even during the recession.

The company announced that its third-quarter earnings rose 98.3% to $3.45 per share, compared with $1.74 per share in the same quarter a year ago. During the same period,'s sales rose 30% to $730.7 million.  [Analysts] expected third-quarter earnings of $2.92 per share, so the company posted an 18.2% earnings surprise. expects full-year earnings of $1.52 to $1.62 per share, which is better than analysts' consensus estimate of $1.49 per share.  (The stock closed above $218 Thursday—Editor.)

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