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. Taking its Toll
Upscale homebuilder Toll Brothers (NYS: TOL) is breaking into the Seattle market, snapping up privately held CamWest Development LLC for undisclosed terms. CamWest is on track to generate $90 million this year on 180 million homes.
I'm not keen on real estate developers. We still have a glut of inventory, speculators have sobered up, and prices will only continue to head lower once interest rates begin inching higher. Don't get me started on residential developers that are forced deeper into the suburbs for available land at a time when the urbanization movement finds folks moving closer to densely populated downtowns. It also doesn't help that $90 million divided by 180 million homes is a stiff average of $500,000 per property in King and Snohomish counties.
Ultimately I still have to applaud this move by Toll. It has one of the better financial positions in this industry, and taking advantage of the market lull -- no matter how long it actually lasts -- is better than doing nothing at all to make the most of knee-buckling competitors.
2. Marriott completes the checkout process
Marriott International (NYS: MAR) finally spun off its troubled timeshare business and economically insensitive Ritz-Carlton resident club initiative through Marriott Vacations Worldwide (NYS: VAC) on Monday.
The move will immediately improve Marriott International's financials. The luxury travel concepts that make up Marriott Vacations Worldwide peaked in 2007. The parent company will now be able to focus on its "asset light" strategy, since it only owns 99% of the 3,700 worldwide properties bearing one of Marriott's 18 brands. It relies on long-term management or franchise agreements for the bulk of its business.
3. Ozzy gets Sirius
Sirius XM's (NAS: SIRI) Boneyard -- the commercial-free classic rock channel that airs on channel 38 -- is getting a new name.
Ozzy's Boneyard will feature the same heavy emphasis of hard rock and heavy metal classics, only now it will be branded by metal legend Ozzy Osbourne. The Black Sabbath frontman who went on to have an equally impressive solo career followed by a colorful run on reality television will serve as an occasional host. His wife Sharon and kids Jack and Kelly will also host their own programs on the channel.
This may not go down well with hard rock purists, but it will give the channel more visibility. The more effective branding possible as Ozzy's Boneyard will help Sirius XM justify its top-dog position in premium radio at a time when it's getting easier and easier to stream content on the road. Sirius XM is making the right call here, even if means having to put up with Kelly Osbourne whining between sets of Metallica and Judas Priest.
Regeneron's Eylea is cheaper and injected less frequently than Roche's Lucentis which is already on the market. This is huge for Regeneron, which is currently not profitable and only has one other product.
5. Coffee, tea, or smoothie?
In a clever sendoff, passengers on JetBlue's (NAS: JBLU) inaugural flight from New York's JKF to Liberia, Costa Rica and La Romana, Dominican Republic were treated to free tropical Jamba (NAS: JMBA) smoothies as they boarded the plane.
This seemingly petty event is a win for both sides. There's a franchised Jamba Juice location in JetBlue's terminal at JFK, so the publicity -- not only for the actual passengers, but those who read about it after the fact as well -- draws awareness to Jamba's airport presence.
For JetBlue, it's a piece of welcome positive publicity. The last time that JetBlue was making headlines was when passengers were stuck on the tarmac on an ill-fated flight for seven hours. Anything that JetBlue can do to remind the public that it's the home of cheap flights, rich entertainment, and blue corn chips, the better.
If you want to see if these companies continue to do the smart thing, track them through My Watchlist.
AddToll Brothersto My Watchlist.
AddSirius XM Radioto My Watchlist.
AddRegeneron Pharmaceuticalsto My Watchlist.
AddMarriott Internationalto My Watchlist.
AddJambato My Watchlist.
AddJetBlue Airwaysto My Watchlist.
At the time thisarticle was published Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Jamba. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
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