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. IMAX is a blockbuster
The local multiplex isn't dead if there's an IMAX screen.

Shares of the company behind enhanced big-screen experiences hit their highest levels since March of last year after posting better-than-expected quarterly results.

IMAX's fourth-quarter revenue rose 17% to $77.8 million, fueled by a 56% spike in gross box office revenue for films screening at its theaters. Adjusted net income nearly doubled to $0.23 a share. Analysts were only banking on a profit of $0.16 a share on just $74 million in revenue.

IMAX continues to have a healthy backlog of orders for its revenue-enhancing projection systems, especially internationally. This is a scalable model given the fixed digital remastering costs, so margins should continue to expand as its reach grows.

More movie studios are also filming IMAX-exclusive sequences with IMAX cameras, giving filmgoers yet another reason to seek out IMAX screenings in the future. Exhibitors in general have had a rough couple of years, but IMAX has been a shining beacon in a sluggish industry.

2. Two more Best Buy believers
Best Buy rarely makes its way into this weekly column these days, so we may as well enjoy the moments when the struggling consumer electronics chain gets it right.

It's been a long time since an analyst had something positive to say about Best Buy, but this week we had two Wall Street pros profess their newfound faith in the retailer.

Analysts at Barclays Capital and Stifel Nicolaus upgraded their views on Best Buy as an investment this week. Despite the challenges, they feel that an improving economy, a coming boom in Web-tethered smart appliances, and the growing popularity of Android over iOS will help serve the chain well.

Whether or not Best Buy's disgruntled founder succeeds in taking back control of the company, there is something to be said about the old adage that a rising tide lifts all boats -- even if Best Buy has all the makings of the Titanic in the long run.

3. SodaStream is a pop star
served up carbonated quarterly results this week.

Revenue soared 55% during the holiday quarter to $132.9 million, as adjusted profitability checked in at $0.45 a share. Wall Street was settling for earnings of $0.39 a share on $121.5 million.

SodaStream sold a record 1.1 million soda makers during the quarter, paving the way for strong sales of carbonators and soda flavors in the future.

SodaStream's guidance is calling for revenue and adjusted earnings to climb 25% in 2013. It's a slower clip than the market has been used to, but stacked on top of 2012's final results, we're also looking at numbers that are higher than Wall Street was modeling before the report.

As I pointed out in covering the results, investors shouldn't be swayed by SodaStream's historically conservative guidance. A year ago SodaStream was only targeting revenue growth of 28%. The pop star's top line ultimately shot 51% higher in 2012.

4. Analysts in pairs, revisited
Just as two analysts turned bullish on Best Buy earlier this week, a pair of Wall Street pros also waxed bullish on Google by introducing identical $1,000 price targets this week.

Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analyst James Lee issued reports on the same day with fresh goals of Google hitting the $1,000 mark.

The online search leader isn't too far away. Shares topped $800 earlier this week for the first time in Google's history.

5. I've got 51job but a miss ain't one
51job is holding up in China.

The provider of online workforce recruiting, corporate outsourcing, and other human resources services posted better-than-expected results this week.

51job climbed 7% to $63.8 million, exceeding its earlier guidance calling for no more than $62.9 million on the top line. 51job's earnings of $0.66 a share or $0.74 a share on an adjusted basis also clocked in well ahead of the $0.61 a share that analysts were forecasting.

Even as 51job winds down its original print advertising business in pursuit of higher-margin online initiatives, the company's finding a way to grow in a niche that is going through its growing pains. Rival went through massive layoffs last month ahead of a sale earlier this month.

51job keeps producing, scoring its fifth consecutive quarter of market-thumping results on the bottom line.

This will come in handy for 51job's next performance review.

One more smart move this year
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The article This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves originally appeared on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz owns shares of SodaStream. The Motley Fool recommends 51job, Google, Imax, and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Imax, and SodaStream. 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.

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