Week's Winners, Losers: Cash Flows at McDonald's, GoDaddy

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Financial Markets Wall Street GoDaddy CEO
Richard Drew/APCEO Blake Irving waits for GoDaddy's IPO to begin trading on Wednesday.
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the world's largest burger flipper sprucing up its image by bumping up hourly wages and U.S. automakers taking a breather in March.

GoDaddy (GDDY) -- Winner

If your inspiration after hearing about another hot IPO is to see if you can register the AnotherHotIPO.com domain, then you are probably no stranger to GoDaddy. The country's leader in domain name registrations soared on its first day of trading on Wednesday.

GoDaddy was originally expected to price in the high teens, but strong demand pushed its IPO price to $20 on Tuesday night. It wasn't enough. The stock opened more than 30 percent higher on Wednesday morning. That may come as a surprise given GoDaddy's scary financials. It has been posting large annual losses for years. Some also argue that the domain registrations business is a cutthroat commodity market no matter how slick GoDaddy's controversial ads may be.

However, it was ultimately a big day for GoDaddy, and an encouraging sign for the companies waiting to go public. The marketplace is receptive, and other IPOs will follow.

Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) -- Losers

The leading U.S. automakers shifted into reverse last month. Sales data out this week shows that Ford and GM saw their new-car sales shrink by 3.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, in March relative to the prior year's showing.

Industry watchers aren't scared. They point to the harsh winter and March having one fewer weekend this time around as the causes for slower showroom traffic at the Ford and GM dealerships. However, we did see some other players including Hyundai, Subaru, and Fiat Chrysler gain ground in March. In other words, Ford and GM will need to shift back into drive in April.

Amazon.com (AMZN) -- Winner

One of Wednesday's lamest April Fools' Day jokes was Amazon.com turning its homepage into the vintage landing page it had in 1999. It wasn't very funny, and it may have scared away some potential shoppers.

However, earlier in the week, Amazon did turn heads for something so cool that it seems as if it's a prank -- but it's not. Amazon Dash is a simple Wi-Fi-tethered button about the size of a keychain. Amazon shoppers set up the button to place reorders of anything from K-Cups to laundry detergent when they see that they're running out. An alert gets sent to the owner's smartphone in case it was made by mistake. It should make people rely on Amazon even more, driving even more consumers to the Amazon Prime platform.

UTi Worldwide (UTIW) -- Loser

Share of UTi Worldwide plunged nearly 20 percent on April Fools' Day, and it wasn't a joke. The provider of supply chain solutions for the shipping industry fell woefully short of expectations in its quarterly report the night before.

Revenue declined 10 percent relative to the prior year's fiscal fourth quarter, and UTi suffered a substantially larger deficit than the market was expecting. At least one Wall Street pro -- RBC Capital Markets -- downgraded the stock and lowered its price target following the problematic report. UTi's guidance for the new fiscal year was also a stinker.

McDonald's (MCD) -- Winner

Caving in at least partly to activist pressure, the country's largest burger chain announced that it will raise hourly rates at its company-owned restaurants. It's not the $15 an hour that activists have been clamoring for, and obviously McDonald's isn't going to give in to unionization requests. The raise is also not going to apply at the franchisee-run restaurants that make up most of its locations. However, given the struggles at the fast-food giant to woo customers, this is a smart way to try to spruce up its tarnished corporate image.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Ford, General Motors, and McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Looking for a winner for your portfolio? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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