Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers: Going Bananas; Monster Gains
Let's go over some of last week's best and worst performers.
Chiquita Brands (CQB) -- Up 35 Percent Last Week
Investors went bananas over Chiquita after it received -- and rejected -- a buyout offer. Cutrale and Safra offered an unsolicited offer to buy the banana giant at a price of $13 a share, representing a 29 percent premium to where Chiquita closed before bid was made public. Chiquita's board rejected the offer. The stock still moved higher -- above and beyond $13 -- on the possibility of Cutrale and Safra sweetening their bid.
Monster Beverage (MNST) -- Up 34 Percent Last Week
Soft drinks are out, and adrenaline-boosting energy drinks are in. Coca-Cola (KO) knows this, so it announced on Friday morning that it was buying a nearly 17 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion.
Monster and Red Bull dominate this niche despite growing concerns about the health risks of young consumers taking in too many energy drinks.
Monster's stock rallied on Friday. Investors may be hoping that Coca-Cola eventually swallows down all of Monster, but in the meantime it validates the beverage category.
United Online (UNTD) -- Up 20 Percent Last Week
It's possible to be at the right place at the right time but with the wrong approach. United Online hasn't been the market darling that it could have been given its ability to hop on to trends early. After all, it acquired alum-reuniting Classmates before social networking was hot. It built up NetZero when the country was just starting to migrate online. It also bought MyPoints from a legacy airline before the appeal of online coupons and loyalty clubs became popular.
However, investors were rewarded last week when United Online posted preliminary quarterly results. Its bean counters are still trying to assess the bottom-line impact of an income tax issue, but it still managed to post revenue and free cash flow that exceeded its earlier guidance. Even given United Online's history of near misses and incomplete financials, that was enough to get rolling.
SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) -- Down 31 Percent Last Week
The biggest loser on the New York Stock Exchange was SeaWorld, taking a dive after posting disappointing quarterly results. Revenue declined slightly, but analysts were expecting a gain. Profitability also fell short of expectations.
SeaWorld has been struggling to draw park guests to its marine life parks under a cloud of controversy stemming from killer whales in captivity. SeaWorld tried to help soften the sting on Friday, announcing that it will build larger habitats for its killer whales, but the market still wasn't impressed.
King Digital (KING) -- Down 30 Percent Last Week
The mobile app developer behind Candy Crush Saga shed nearly a third of its value after posting problematic financial results. Gross bookings fell well short of forecasts, and it's the third quarter in a row that King's flagship "Candy Crush Saga: generated lower gross bookings sequentially. King has been successful in getting mobile gamers to play its other games, but it hasn't been enough to offset concerns about the sliding popularity of its main game.
Noodles & Co. (NDLS) -- Down 21 Percent Last Week
One of last year's hottest initial public offerings has been one of this year's biggest losers. Noodles & Co. slipped after coming up short in its latest quarter. The fast casual chain that serves up a wide array of pasta dishes -- from pad thai to mac and cheese -- saw is comparable restaurant sales and adjusted earnings decline over the prior year's quarter. Last year's shiny debutante may have more than doubled the day that it went public, but Noodles & Co. has lost more than 40 percent of its value in 2014.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Monster Beverage. The Motley Fool owns shares of Monster Beverage and United Online and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.