Week's Winners, Losers: Apple's Hot, Keurig's in Hot Water
NQ Mobile (NQ) -- Winner
One of this year's biggest losers has been NQ Mobile, coming under fire after noted short-seller Muddy Waters poked holes in the Chinese provider of mobile security software. NQ Mobile has yet to sway the market, so it's taking its ample liquidity and betting on itself. NQ Mobile announced an $80 million buyback that it will carry out over the coming year. That's a pretty big deal for a company that commanded a market cap of just a little more than $300 million at the time of the buyback announcement.
CBS (CBS) -- Loser
Sometimes an online platform falters when it's needed the most. CBS' Showtime had an unfortunate time for an outage of its Web-based Showtime Anytime service. Folks tuning in for the season finale of "Homeland" -- arguably Showtime's most popular series -- were greeted with server errors. At a time when few shows mandate real-time viewing, Showtime's series begs for online viewers to keep up before spoilers blow up on social media. It wasn't possible on Sunday night, and those same people took Showtime to task because, hey, it's not like they had anything else to do online since their show wasn't available. It's at times like this when CBS probably regrets calling its streaming platform Showtime Anytime.
Apple (AAPL) -- Winner
We still don't know how many iPhones and iPads Apple sold this holiday season, but some Wall Street pros seem to think that the future is bright for Apple's leading iOS devices. Cowen & Co's Timothy Arcuri issued a bullish note on Monday, encouraged by new iPhone and iPad models possible for 2015. His read of the landscape shows Apple introducing a larger 12.9-inch iPad in a few months, followed by Apple potentially breaking out three sizes for the iPhone 6S model later in the year. A day later, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster put out another upbeat note on Apple. Munster's channel checks show strong demand for the iPhone 6 this holiday season with supply issues improving.
Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) -- Loser
It's been a record year of recalls in the automotive industry, but sometimes even your coffee brewer isn't safe. Responding to complaints of hot liquid escaping from its Mini Plus java brewers, Keurig is offering a free repair kit to remedy the situation. Keurig Green Mountain points out that just 200 incident reports have been filed relative to the roughly 7.2 million Mini Plus units sold in North America through July (when the production issue was remedied). "Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that users avoid brewing more than two cups in rapid succession, and maintain an arm's length distance from the brewer during the brewing process," warns the news release. It's great to see Keurig Green Mountain err on the side of caution, but it certainly doesn't sound comforting to know that you have to fear your brewer -- and stay at arm's length -- when you're thirsting for some coffee.
Yahoo (YHOO) -- Winner
It was a quiet week for analyst notes, but one notable upgrade was Topeka Capital Markets boosting its price target on Yahoo! from $57 to $60. That may not be a big surprise given Yahoo's buoyant stock, but the interesting nugget of analyst Victor Anthony's note is that Tumblr will be a big driver for the dot-com pioneer. Yahoo acquired Tumblr in a $1.1 billion deal last year, and it's been criticized as a difficult platform to police or monetize. Anthony sees it differently, predicting that Tumblr will generate positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (also known as EBITDA) in 2015.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Keurig Green Mountain. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Keurig Green Mountain, and Yahoo!. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Yahoo!. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Is your portfolio ready for a change? Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.