Week's Winners and Losers: iPhone Rings, Disney Disconnects

Brady Suspension
APNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the leading smartphone maker winning over a welcome yet controversial convert and a popular European theme park possibly discriminating on pricing.

The iPhone -- Winner

You may not think that there are any winners in the NFL's "Deflategate" scandal. The Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady have had their reputations tarnished by allegations that the team deflated its footballs. The NFL and its fans have seen the integrity of the game diminished. However, Apple's (AAPL) iconic iPhone became an unlikely winner this week.

Reports that the NFL was upholding its four-game suspension was accompanied by an interesting nugget: Brady destroyed his Samsung the day of his meeting with the NFL, switching to Apple's iPhone.

It's hard to pin a price on what this does for Apple's rep, but at least one group -- Apex Marketing Group --- claims that it added $733,000 to the iPhone's brand.

Disneyland Paris -- Loser

Europe's only Disney-branded theme park came under fire after consumer complaints surfaced, alleging that the park is charging German and British tourists more for vacation packages than it does for French visitors.

Many theme parks offer deals to locals, but there's more to this than that here. The European Commission and French authorities are investigating the claims because the European Union has single-market pricing in place, making this potentially illegal. Disney (DIS) owns just a minority stake in Disneyland Paris, but the story is going to make it hard for non-French Europeans to warm back up to the Disney brand.

Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) -- Winner

Satellite radio is as popular as ever. Sirius XM announced fresh financials Tuesday, revealing that it had a record 28.4 million subscribers. That is 519,000 more accounts than it had three months earlier and 2.1 million more than it had a year earlier.

Sirius XM is doing well, and it boosted its guidance for all of 2015 following the strong report. There has always been the prevailing fear that cheaper smartphone apps and Bluetooth-enabled cars will eat into Sirius XM's popularity, but that's just not happening.

FireEye (FEYE) -- Loser

A strong quarter is no match for a defecting executive. FireEye came through with a blowout quarter that exceeded expectations, providing guidance that will force analysts to boost their targets. However, shares of the cloud-based network security specialist still initially slipped because its CFO resigned.

That's just the way the market works. You can impress with solid financials, but when your top bean counter bolts, folks get nervous.

Groupon (GRPN) -- Winner

The leading deals-buying website operator is making a move into takeout and delivery. Groupon officially launched Groupon To Go in its home base of Chicago. There are plenty of food delivery services out there, but Groupon is mixing things up by working with eateries willing to shave at least 10 percent off the orders.

That should be a pretty compelling hook if it's able to line up enough willing chains, and that's where Groupon's thick Rolodex should come in handy as it relies on its growing list of merchants. It also can only help that it has a huge user base who are always on the lookout for local deals.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, FireEye, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Looking for a winner for your portfolio? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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