5 Winners and Losers in Business Last Week

AP, Mark Lennihan
Companies put a great deal of effort into planning: Sometimes it works brilliantly; other times, things don't work out quite as expected. From a PC giant delaying a vote that would put investors out of their misery to an online discounter coming through with a strong quarter, here's a rundown of last week's best and worst results from the business world.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) -- Winner

There was a time when investors worried that the end of Green Mountain's patents for Keurig's K-Cups would be the end of growth for the java giant. Well, its patent protection for the K-Cups that made single-serve brewing popular went away last September, but Green Mountain is still doing strong.

Nielsen data shows that Green Mountain's share of the market is expanding and the company's growth is accelerating. That was welcome news to analysts, and a couple of them put out favorable reports on Green Mountain.

Dell (DELL) -- Loser

Michael Dell's plan to take the computer giant he created private hit a speed bump last week.

Shareholders were supposed to vote on Thursday, and prospects for the deal passing looked good after a couple of prolific investor advisory groups recommended a vote in favor of the deal. With PC sales faltering for five consecutive quarters and Dell failing to gain relevance in the growing tablet and smartphone markets, the growing consensus is that dark days are ahead for the company. Cashing out at $13.65 a share now is seemingly better than where the stock may be on its own in a few months if the deal falters.

However, with a few activists still rallying stakeholders to vote against the buyout, Dell chose to delay its vote by a week. Investors will now get to decide Dell's fate this Wednesday.

This deal isn't a lock to happen, but investors may not like what happens if the privatization offer gets rejected.

Overstock.com (OSTK) -- Winner

The online discounter has had its turbulent times over the years, but Overstock.com is in a good groove now. The seller of closeouts, clearance items, and its namesake overstocked merchandise came through with better-than-expected quarterly results last week.

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Revenue surged 22 percent to $293.2 million, blowing past the $277.2 million that analysts were targeting. Adjusted earnings of $0.15 a share were also comfortably ahead of where the pros were perched. The key driver this time around was a 21 percent spike in the average order size. In other words, folks are spending more on the site. That's one way to make sure that Overstock.com doesn't wind up for sale on its own site.

Toy makers -- Losers

Kids aren't snapping up toys the way that they used to, and that's bad news for Mattel (MAT) and JAKKS Pacific (JAKK). Shares of the two toy makers slipped last week after posting disappointing quarterly results.

Mattel points to a double-digit percentage decline in Barbie sales, while things are so bad at JAKKS Pacific that it's killing its dividend until it returns to profitability. There has long been a fear that traditional toys will fall out of favor as young kids turn to digital diversions and other forms of entertainment. It may already be happening.

Netflix (NFLX) -- Winner

Emmy nominations were introduced on Thursday, and Netflix walked away with a dozen nods for "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development."

With more than 36 million streaming subscribers, it's not as if the video service's model needed validation. However, accolades from the television world's elite will find more studios knocking on Netflix's door for licensing deals. The actual awards will be handed out in two months, but just being nominated is a victory for Netflix this week.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Mattel, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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