This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves
If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Saluting the General, again
General Motors (NYS: GM) is finally getting in touch with technology that consumers want.
Last week I applauded the automaker for teaming up with RelayRides to make the peer-to-peer carsharing service easier for GM vehicle owners to use with its OnStar system.
Now GM is catching up to its competitors when it comes to infotainment. The auto giant's Cadillac line unveiled CUE -- short for Cadillac User Experience -- this week, fueled by an eight-inch multi-touch screen that provides smartphone owners with satellite weather reports, 3-D mapping, and seamless access to Pandora (NYS: P) .
Oh, it also raises the bar by doubling as an actual Internet browser.
CUE will roll out in select Caddy models starting next year. Make sure you keep your eyes on the road while you check those fantasy football scores.
2. Leading the charge
GM isn't just tweaking dashboard entertainment systems. The bailed-out automaker is also innovating under the hood.
Shares of A123 Systems (NAS: AONE) got a charge when it was revealed that it will provide the battery packs for GM's Chevy Spark EV. The electric car won't hit the road for another two years, but A123 investors have no choice but to be patient. The company is losing money on its lithium ion battery packs now, but revenue is going to seriously ramp up in the coming years.
3. Big numbers for Big G
Google (NAS: GOOG) posted blowout quarterly results last night.
Adjusted earnings climbed 27% to $9.72 a share, as revenue before traffic acquisition costs soared 37% to $7.51 billion. Wall Street was only banking on a profit of $8.74 a share on $7.21 billion in revenue.
Everything seems to be going right at Google, as paid clicks rose 28% with advertisers willing to pay 5% more per lead. Even social networking -- something that Google has fumbled in the past -- is working at Big G. Google has only been live for a couple of months, but it's already up to 40 million registered users.
The move to separate its DVD and streaming services was never popular with subscribers, and understandably so. Netflix still has more atoning to do before couch potatoes trust CEO Reed Hastings again. However, this was at least one step in the right direction.
Another step in the atonement process is to beef up its streaming service, making something that was included at no additional cost to DVD subscribers until last month worth paying for. Signing an exclusive streaming deal with The CW yesterday was a good move in that direction.
5. It's Comcastic!
Multiplex owners finally knocked some sense into Comcast (NAS: CMCSA) (NAS: CMCSK) . The cable provider was planning to offer Tower Heist on pay-per-view 21 days after its box office debut -- but at a whopping $60 a pop.
Several theater chains threatened to boycott the Eddie Murphy flick if Comcast stuck to its plan, and the cable giant blinked. Comcast will no longer test these super-premium rentals next month.
It was a bad idea from the start. It took a boycott threat -- and not sound business sense -- to lead Comcast into doing the right thing, but the world isn't ready for $60 video rentals just weeks into a theatrical run.
If you want to see if these companies continue to do the smart thing, track them through My Watchlist.
- AddNetflixto My Watchlist.
- AddGoogleto My Watchlist.
- AddGeneral Motorsto My Watchlist.
- AddComcastto My Watchlist.
- AddA123 Systemsto My Watchlist.
At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Google.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Google, Netflix, and General Motors; and creating a bear put spread position in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.