Week's Winners, Losers: Shake Shack Sails, Columbia Bails

Shake Shack Results
John Locher/AP
There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a fast-growing gourmet burger restaurant putting the pedal to the metal in terms of expansion and a pioneer in mail-order music filing for bankruptcy.

DirecTV -- Winner

The leading satellite television provider is making it easier for nonsubscribers to enjoy its NFL Sunday Ticket. AT&T's (T) DirecTV -- yes, the wireless phone giant completed its acquisition of DirecTV late last month -- announced on Monday that it will be offering streaming access to the package that includes all out-of-market football games for folks who can't subscribe to DirecTV.

The packages start at $50 a month. That's not cheap, but a lot of football fans won't mind. DirecTV is also offering the plan for just $25 to all students at four-year universities. As cash-strapped as many college kids may be, it's going to be a compelling purchase for out-of-town coeds missing their hometown teams. It's also a smart way for AT&T to promote DirecTV and its flagship wireless products to eventual college grads.

Columbia House -- Loser

The owner of Columbia House -- the once iconic mail-order music company -- filed for bankruptcy on Monday. For those too young to remember, Columbia House was a juggernaut in the 1990s. Its introductory offer of more than a dozen CDs for a penny was followed with monthly mailings at retail prices until a member completed the required obligation. At its peak in 1996, Columbia House generated $1.4 billion in revenue.

However, as consumers grew jaded about the commitment (the next monthly CD would be shipped automatically unless you proactively canceled) and CDs shifted to digital downloads, the Columbia House model was stuck. It stopped mailing CDs a couple of years ago, and now under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it will likely sell off anything that may have any value.

Shake Shack (SHAK) -- Winner

This year's hottest IPO continues to get hotter. Shake Shack moved higher after announcing blowout quarterly results. Revenue for the current period nearly doubled since the prior year, and comparable-restaurant sales moved 12.9 percent higher. It boosted its top-line guidance.

Shake Shack also announced that it would be opening a dozen new company-owned eateries this year, two more than it had originally announced. It expects to open at least 12 restaurants annually in the coming years. As overvalued as the stock may seem, raising the bar on expansion and growth finds investors focusing on the ceiling instead of the floor.

Disney Japan -- Loser

This week's social media blunder belonged to Walt Disney Japan, where Disney (DIS) has a minority stake in the Japanese theme park resort. Walt Disney Japan sent out a controversial Twitter (TWTR) post Sunday.

"A very merry unbirthday to you," read the tweet, a nod to the catchy tune from Disney's original "Alice in Wonderland." That may not seem so bad, but in Japanese that roughly translates into "Congratulations on a not special day," and Sunday just happened to mark 70 years since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki that left tens of thousands of civilians dead. Walt Disney Japan apologized, naturally, but a flub is still a flub.

Netflix (NFLX) -- Winner

The top dog among premium video services continues to nab first-run content. Netflix announced on Tuesday an exclusive deal to release "Mascots," the latest mockumentary project from Christopher Guest. "This Is Spinal Tap," "A Mighty Wind," and "Best in Show" are previous mockumentary projects that Guest has been associated with, all of them standing the test of time as cult faves.

Netflix keeps making the most of its growing base of streaming subscribers, investing in more original content.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Netflix, Twitter, 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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