Week's Winners and Losers: Apple Takes, CarMax Brakes

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Consumer With Apple's iPhone 6
Colin McConnell/Toronto Star/Getty ImagesDani Winters shows off his new iPhone 6 as the line of waiting customers stretches behind him in a Toronto mall.
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the world's leading premium streaming service pushing out an odd marketing campaign and the iEverything company selling a ton of new smartphones. Here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders.

Apple (AAPL) -- Winner

It wasn't much of a surprise, but Apple's new iPhone is flying off the shelves. Apple announced on Monday that it sold a record 10 million smartphones during the debut weekend of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The feat is even more impressive than it seems because the iPhone 6 Plus sold out quickly through most outlets. One can only imagine how many more smartphones Apple would have sold over the weekend if it had had ample supply.

CarMax (KMX) -- Loser

Selling used cars in a haggle-free environment may be a godsend to potential buyers, but things didn't pan out for investors in CarMax's latest quarter. Shares of the company slumped on Tuesday after it posted uninspiring financial results.

Same-store sales inched a mere 0.2 percent higher, short of expectations. CarMax's adjusted profit of 64 cents a share also missed Wall Street's profit target. CarMax has now fallen shy of analyst earnings estimates in three of the past four quarters.

GeekNet (GKNT) -- Winner

It's not every day that a potentially hot product starts off as a gag, but that's what may be happening at GeekNet's ThinkGeek. The online store that sells Bazinga! T-shirts, Star Trek Borg mini fridges, and other geeky wares is selling the Flux Capacitor USB car charger that was originally an April Fools' Day joke on the site.

The real device plugs into a car's cigarette lighter, providing enough fuel for two smartphones, tablets, handheld gaming devices, e-readers or anything else that can be powered through a USB port. The flux capacitor lights up just like the one from the "Back to the Future" movies that sent Marty McFly traveling through time. Then again, given that many newer cars these days already have USB chargers, maybe the real trick would be for GeekNet's store to go back in time a few years when it would've been a bigger hit.

Netflix (NFLX) -- Loser

In a head-scratching move, Netflix rolled out a website devoted entirely to broadcasting spoilers to movies and TV shows. From "Twin Peaks" to "World War Z," the site offers clips of defining moments in shows and films. To be fair, even the finale to the second season of its own "House of Cards" is revealed.

Netflix is trying to take the sting out of the spoiler. It may even be trying to make the point that you can still enjoy a show or movie knowing exactly how it ends. However, since a lot of people don't see it that way, does it really expect to draw and retain subscribers by spoiling entire TV show story arcs before viewers get to experience them organically? This seems like a rare misstep by Netflix.

Walmart (WMT) -- Winner

The world's largest retailer is ready to bank on a financial future. Walmart revealed on Tuesday that it's finally making a bigger push into consumer banking, teaming up with prepaid payment card leader Green Dot to roll out a low-cost mobile checking platform.

The new GoBank account will have no fees for overdrafts or bounced checks. There's also no minimum account balance, though an $8.95-a-month fee will apply if users don't have at least $500 to fund the account through direct deposit in any given month. It's a smart move that addresses Walmart's less affluent customers in a way that could get them to come back to the company's stores more often.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, CarMax and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on the Apple Watch to learn where the real money is to be made for early investors.
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