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. Electric boogaloo
There haven't been too many tweets that have been powerful enough to move stocks, but one happened this week when Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk got animated on Twitter:
Really exciting @TeslaMotors announcement coming on Thursday. Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way.
Musk went on to clarify that the announcement will be bumped to Tuesday of next week, but what could it possibly mean?
Is the "v" a typo, a hint that a new Model V will be introduced, or just shorthand for "very" in a character-constrained microblogging platform?
The news probably isn't as exciting as a new car. The "put my money where my mouth is" suggests that either Musk is going to take a larger stake in the company or that the fast-growing maker of electric cars is about to pay down some of its debt.
Some will criticize the nature of a CEO posting a tantalizing comment on a social site, but this isn't the first time that this has happened. It also won't be the last. As long as the platform is open and the post public -- and this passes both of those sniff tests -- it works.
2. Nothing but Netflix
Netflix shares have more than tripled since this past summer, and some analysts still feel that there's more to this rally.
Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves jacked up his price target on Netflix. He sees the video service's stock going as high as $225 in the near term. His earlier target was for $160.
Hargreaves has rightfully had an outperform rating on the stock in recent months, but now he sees more upside to the model itself. He used to think that peak domestic Netflix streaming customers would be 43 million by 2021, but now he's raising the service's audience to 46 million stateside subscribers.
The combination of Netflix's aggressive price and content lead will make it hard to catch, and we're not even exploring the 17 million international subscribers that he sees on Netflix by 2015.
Remember when Netflix was the butt of Wall Street jokes? How quickly we forget about Qwikster.
3. The prodigal founder returns
Best Buy rarely makes the cut for this weekly column, but the consumer electronics retailer did something right this week.
The company announced that founder Richard Schulze is rejoining the company as chairman emeritus. He will also be bringing two of his former executives into the retailer's board of directors.
Schulze abandoned his plans to take Best Buy private last month, but as he's the owner of a sizable 20% stake of the company, it was in Best Buy's best interests to play nice with its birth parent.
Schulze also had some kind words to say about new CEO Hubert Joly, so maybe there can be harmony as the company tries to drum up a turnaround plan. It was going to be impossible if the relationship here was acrimonious. It won't be easy, but at least now Best Buy has a shot.
Barclays Capital analyst Alan Rifkin likes what's happening, boosting his price target on the shares from $20 to $28.
4. Chip shot
RF Micro Devices is another company that moved higher on some analyst love.
Oppenheimer analyst Rick Schafer upgraded the chip maker from perform to outperform, encouraged by RF Micro's ability to transition its smartphone chips away from manufacturer laggards. Hotter Samsung and iPhone devices now account for as much as 40% of RF Micro's business.
Schafer believes that the stock can hit $7 in the near term. That may not seem like much, but it's a hearty 43% above where the stock closed on Monday.
5. Dave Thomas would be proud
Mickey D's thinks it may have a "Subway killer" in its new Premium McWraps, but let's not underestimate Wendy's here.
The burger chain introduced flatbread grilled chicken sandwiches to its menu, and a national ad campaign will kick off next week to promote the new entrees.
Wendy's is going with an artisan flatbread that may be more at home at the fast-casual sandwich shops than a burger joint. The flatbread itself is a five-grain blend of flax, cracked wheat, millet, rolled oats, and sesame seeds. The new items also give Wendy's something that it can use to woo dieters. The Smoky Honey Mustard flatbread sandwich packs a reasonable 370 calories.
At a time when everyone's wondering if the burger chains can keep the value-menu deal seekers happy, it's good to know that they haven't lost sight of the premium offerings that will ultimately expand margins.
One more smart move
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The article This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves originally appeared on Fool.com.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Netflix and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Tesla Motors. 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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