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. Netflix has an ace up its sleeve
House of Cards was apparently pretty good for Netflix .

The leading video service provider kicked off the week with a blowout quarter on Monday night.

Netflix's adjusted profit of $0.31 a share blew past the $0.19 a share that Wall Street forecasted, and the reborn dot-com darling closed out the period with a better-than-expected 36.3 million global streaming subscribers. Revenue topped $1 billion in a quarter for the first time in Netflix's history.

Some of this success can be attributed to the success of February's House of Cards, but things are just starting to get going on that front. Netflix revealed this week that its latest series -- Eli Roth's Hemlock Grove -- attracted more viewers during its opening weekend than House of Cards.

Remember when Netflix was left for dead in late 2011? The stock hit yet another 52-week high this week.

2. It's the wood that makes it good
Lumber Liquidators hit fresh highs this week, and that's easy to see once you delve into the flooring retailer's better-than-expected quarterly results.

The leading stand-alone seller of hardwood flooring saw comps skyrocket 15.2% during the first three months of this year. Net sales climbed 22.5% to $230.4 million and earnings nearly doubled to $0.57 a share. Wall Street was betting on net income of $0.42 a share on just $215.5 million in revenue.

Lumber Liquidators is naturally boosting its guidance for all of 2013.

It was easy to see this coming. The chain has been blowing past analyst targets with ease in recent quarters, and the pent-up demand for stylish planks and other high-end flooring that homeowners feared to act on when home prices were falling finally has an optimistic outlet for release.

3. Put me in Coach
Investors may have gotten nervous when Coach posted disappointing holiday quarter results earlier this year, but this time around the retailer had it in the bag.

Coach stock popped after posting better-than-expected profitability. North American comps rising 1% wasn't very impressive, but Coach is having surprising success with its products for men and business in China is booming.

Coach also boosted its dividend, a move that suggests that things will get better for the handbag maker that's been slumping lately at the expense of a faster-growing rival.

4. Burrito and a buzz
Chipotle Mexican Grill
is looking to upgrade its libations.

The 1,458-unit fast-casual chain will add premium margaritas -- handmade with Patron silver tequila, triple sec, agave nectar, and fresh lime -- to more than 900 of its restaurants in time for next month's Cinco de Mayo festivities.

I have my concerns.

Will the handmade premium margaritas slow the famously fast-moving queues? Will folks linger at tables more often? Can Chipotle call a cab to take me home?

Concerns aside, the move should help boost business -- and that was the one weak spot in Chipotle's well-received report last week. When comps rise a mere 1%, failing to even keep pace with inflation, Chipotle had to do something.

5. Xbox marks the spot
Microsoft is ready to unveil its new Xbox.

The software giant sent out invites for the media event on May 21, making it more than likely that Microsoft will have the new console out in time for this year's holiday shopping season. It's not as if Wii U gained any advantage by coming out last year, but Microsoft didn't want the PlayStation 4 to hog all of the 2013 holiday spending.

There's also an interesting rumor going around on pricing. Microsoft's high-end gaming system may hit the market at a stiff $499 price point, but there may also be a more approachable $299 price for buyers committing to a $10 a month subscription plan.

A subsidized gaming console? If anyone can do it, it would be Microsoft, which already has 46 million Xbox Live subscribers and is the company behind this country's best-selling platform. The ability to offer a subsidized console would be a harder sell on its competition.

After years of declining hardware and software sales, it's hard to get excited about a new system, but there's plenty of potential as Microsoft's new box aims to be the entertainment hub of the future.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Coach, Lumber Liquidators, and Netflix. It also owns shares of Microsoft. 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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