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. SodaStream is a globetrotter
SodaStream (NAS: SODA) is cutting out the middleman in key territories.
The company behind the popular home-based soda maker is buying back its Nordic and Baltic distribution business. The deal won't set the Israeli-based company back much, but buying out its distributor for $10.2 million will allow it to generate chunkier profits as it sells directly into Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.
This is a pretty big deal, especially in Sweden where SodaStream already has penetrated more than 20% of the country's households with its system of manual appliances, carbonators, and soda syrups.
2. One step closer to regaining retail relevancy
Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) has had a pretty good year, but its ballyhooed Sirius XM 2.0 rollout has been a real dud.
The first receiver for the new platform failed to generate consumer excitement when it hit the market a couple of months ago. CEO Mel Karmazin indicated that a second Sirius XM 2.0 receiver would be coming, but it seems unlikely that the superior SiriusXM Lynx will be out next week.
However, Lynx did recently clear the FCC hurdle that was keeping it from its retail release. Lynx features a touchscreen and is based on the popular Android operating system. Gaining regulatory approval means that an actual release can't be too far away now.
The European DVD rental and streaming service has secured exclusive digital distribution rights for Sony's (NYS: SNE) theatrical releases and several of its earlier titles and television shows. Netflix has already gone public with its plans to roll out in Ireland and the U.K. next quarter, but that has only given Amazon enough a heads up to scramble for streaming content deals.
LOVEFiLM has been favoring exclusive distribution arrangements, limiting the pool of content that Netflix will be able to go after next year.
4. Content may not be king, but it sleeps with the queen
Shares of Akamai (NAS: AKAM) moved higher yesterday, after the leading content-delivery network announced plans to acquire smaller rival Cotendo.
Buyers usually don't pop higher on buyout news, but investors clearly like Akamai's $268 million deal here.
Snapping up a direct rival to its value-added-services business will always make sense, but it's even more opportunistic now that the sector has been slammed on concerns of cutthroat pricing. Consolidation will continue, and Akamai may as well keep its dining bib on for the next inevitable course.
5. Baidu's mobile search
Baidu (NAS: BIDU) is China's top dog in search, so why can't it make a name for itself in mobile?
The first wireless handset based on Baidu Yi -- the dot-com darling's China-centric version of Android -- was unveiled this week.
It remains to be seen if Baidu can make a dent in this crowded market, but the fact that a majority of China's online users already rely on the company to satisfy search queries will clearly help. Baidu is a trusted brand and a familiar one.
It may be a long time before there is substantial money to be made in mobile search in China, but when it happens, Baidu wants to make sure that it has a great vantage point.
At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com, Netflix, SodaStream International, and Baidu. 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 Netflix. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.