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. Baidu phones it in
Baidu (NAS: BIDU) is ready to raise its game in mobile. China's leading search engine rolled out its Baidu Yi mobile operating system last year, but this week it revealed that it will team up with three major Chinese companies to put out an entry-level smartphone running an upgraded version of its modified Android platform called Baidu Cloud.
The phone, which will sell at an unsubsidized price of roughly $160, will play nice with Baidu's services and applications. Owners will get 100 gigabytes of free cloud-based storage.
This is important. Baidu has 78% of China's search market, but its share of mobile searches is just 35%. As smartphone usage increases, the best way for Baidu to keep growing is to make sure that it's in the pockets of as many people in China as possible.
2. Nothing but Net
Shares of Netlist (NAS: NLST) , a maker of memory subsystems for server and storage applications for cloud computing, soared 17% on Wednesday after posting a narrower loss than Wall Street was targeting on a 16% uptick in revenue.
It isn't really a surprise to see this company beat out the prognosticators. As I pointed out earlier in the week, Netlist had beaten analyst profit estimates by a wide margin in each of the three previous quarter.
3. Skeptics go OP in flames
Shares of OPNET Technologies (NAS: OPNT) shot 24% higher on Tuesday after posting encouraging quarterly results. The provider of network performance management solutions nailed the high end of its top- and bottom-line guidance, but that wasn't why the stock was soaring. OPNET revised its guidance lower last month, so the performance is more a relief than a celebration.
Specifically, investors got behind the company as it revealed that most of the $2.4 million in purchasing delays that forced it to hose down its fiscal fourth-quarter numbers have already been realized during the current quarter.
4. IMAX packs a passport
IMAX (NYS: IMAX) is having a monster quarter, but you probably didn't know that because you were too busy passing the popcorn at the local multiplex.
The company behind the namesake supersized theater platform put out its mid-quarter box-office update this week. IMAX screenings of theatrical releases for this quarter through May 13 have resulted in $96.5 million in ticket sales, nearly three times the $32.6 million in exhibitor receipts for IMAX shows at the midpoint of last year's second quarter.
In an interesting twist, the majority of this quarter's ticket sales -- $55.7 million -- have come from IMAX screens outside North America. That's a sharp reversal from last year, when international ticket sales were just a third of the IMAX total.
5. SINA magic
SINA's (NAS: SINA) quarterly report wasn't pretty. Revenue inched just 6% higher, and a hefty deficit reversed a profit in last year's first quarter. Guidance for the current quarter was also uninspiring.
Then there was the revelation that the Chinese online giant was initiating test trials of brand advertising on Weibo, SINA's fast-growing microblog platform that's drawing a ton of traffic but also crushing SINA's margins in its current largely non-monetized state.
The ad platform will be powered by a social-interest-graph recommendation engine, which means the spots will be valuable since they'll be carefully targeted. SINA expects the move to have a "meaningful impact" on results in the latter half of this year.
The best way to overcome a ho-hum quarterly report is to be able to point to a real catalyst around the corner.
At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Baidu, SINA, and IMAX. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.