Week's Winners and Losers: Apple Gels, Marriott Jams
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the world's most populous nation warming up to its homegrown electric-car makers and a leading hotel giant stirring up some powerful enemies with a controversial connectivity move.
Apple (AAPL) -- Winner
The world's most valuable consumer tech giant made the cut as a winner last week after a couple of analysts issued bullish notes ahead of the holiday season. We're now seeing some proof that it was a very merry Apple Christmas.
Web tracker Flurry Analytics is reporting that 51.3 percent of all smartphone and tablet devices activated between Dec. 19 and Christmas Day were Apple devices. This is a sharp contrast from the market dominance that Android gadgetry has over Apple's iOS.
Marriott International (MAR) -- Loser
It's no fun being on the wrong end of public opinion. Internet giants and wireless service providers have been voicing their disdain for a controversial practice that Marriott International is championing.
Marriott teamed up with American Hotel & Lodging Association earlier this year to lobby in favor of the practice to jam personal hotspots and hotspot-equipped smartphones. The hotel giant argues that hotspot-wielding guests open up the possibility for network attacks or potentially compromising the online security of other guests. The concerns would have some more weight if Marriott were one of the growing number of hoteliers offering complimentary Wi-Fi, but it's not in that camp. The lobbying comes off as self-serving, forcing guests into paying Marriott for in-room connectivity.
Chinese Makers of Electric Cars -- Winners
The world's most populous nation has a smog problem, and that should continue to pay off for Chinese makers of electric vehicles. Draft rules out by Chinese regulators on Tuesday are extending a subsidy that will offer rebates as high as $8,800 for "green" cars through 2020. The original program was set to expire next year.
This isn't good news for foreign electric car makers that have been drooling over the potential of China's eventually lucrative market, but it's great news for BYD, Kandi (KNDI) and other Chinese upstarts that will have a pricing advantage with the meaty four-figure subsidy.
Civeo (CVEO) -- Loser
There have been plenty of stocks crashing in light of the plunge in oil prices, and a new one this week was Civeo. Its stock shed more than half of its value on Tuesday after the company warned that it will fall well short of earlier revenue and profitability expectations.
Civeo provides temporary and long-term housing for oil industry workers. If oil prices are so low that it's not cost-effective to drill for more, it means that workers don't need to live in the Canadian oil sands and near Australian drilling areas.
Civeo now sees revenue of $540 million to $600 million for the fiscal year, well short of the $817.2 million that analysts were targeting. Given the uncertain climate, Civeo is also suspending its dividend.
Micron Technology (MU) -- Winner
It's been a quiet week for analyst notes, but Piper Jaffray's Ruben Roy turned heads by raising his price target on Micron Technology to $44. Roy feels that the memory-chip giant will benefit from rising demand and tightening supply, boosting his revenue and earnings targets for the year ahead.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Kandi Technologies. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Kandi Technologies and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Want to make 2015 a winning investment year? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.