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. Fed up
FedEx (NYS: FDX) may have had its reputation sullied last week as a video of a hurried FedEx driver breaking a monitor by heaving it over a recipient's gate went viral, but this doesn't mean that the speedy parcel specialist can't keep inching rates higher.
FedEx revealed that -- starting next week -- there will be a 5.9% average hike on FedEx Express package and freight rates, FedEx Ground, and Home Delivery services.
I'm not a fan of rate increases, but you have to admire FedEx's swagger. At a time when postal rates are inching higher and the cash-strapped USPS is looking to scale back its offerings, FedEx is pushing through a small increase that should beef up its already healthy margins.
2. E-home improvement
Lowe's (NYS: LOW) has seen what online retailers have done to disrupt traditional bricks-and-mortar chains, and it's not going to take any chances.
The country's second largest home improvement retailer is snapping up ATG Stores, an operator of hundreds of websites that sell furniture, hardware, and even beauty and apparel merchandise.
Terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, so it's always possible that Lowe's is overpaying here. However, even in a generally safe niche like hardware -- where homeowners and contractors prefer to go to a physical storefront to pick out what they need -- it doesn't hurt to have some more dot-com exposure.
3. Let it snow
Arctic Cat (NAS: ACAT) makes some pretty slick snowmobiles and ATVs. It also knows how to make a good deal for its shareholders.
Arctic Cat is buying back the 33% stake in the company owned by Suzuki Motor at a steep discount. Paying $13 a share in a move that will reduce the number of outstanding shares from 18.4 million to 12.3 million will work wonders for earnings on a per share basis.
It also won't break Arctic Cat's bank.
4. The yolk isn't on this egg-faced company
It was a quiet week in terms of earnings reports, so we may as well give props to Cal-Maine (NAS: CALM) .
The country's leading producer of shell eggs saw its quarterly profits soar 53% to $0.97 a share, well ahead of the $0.89 a share that Wall Street was expecting.
Selling 16% more eggs -- at price points averaging 17% higher -- did the trick. Cal-Maine isn't gouging egg lovers. Chicken feed costs have inched higher over the past year. However, Cal-Maine was still able to grow its bottom line at a headier clip than its still impressive top-line growth of 24%.
5. We're living in an Android and iOS world
For some, it was an Apple (NAS: AAPL) Christmas. For others, it was an Android holiday. Tech tracker Flurry Analytics is reporting that a whopping 6.8 million devices powered by Apple's iOS or Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android were activated on Christmas Day, a healthy spike from the 1.5 million daily average earlier in the month.
Flurry's figure includes both smartphones and tablets, but it's still an impressive showing for the two platforms of choice that have come to define the "good enough" computing revolution.
Between Apple claiming the high end of the market and Google gunning for everybody else, the two operating systems are running away with this race.
At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Cal-Maine Foods, Apple, and FedEx. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Google, Lowe's, and FedEx; creating a bull call spread position in Apple; and writing covered calls in Lowe's. 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. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.