If you're up to your nose hairs in negative news this week, take my hand as we go over some of the more uplifting headlines of the week. There was more in the news than just layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns this week.
1. You go, Rick
I'll let you come up with your own stimulus package punch-line as we get into today's news out of strip-club operator Rick's Cabaret (Nasdaq: RICK ) . Shares of the nightclub owner opened 15% higher this morning, propelled by a 113% spike in sales for the month of October.
Rick's Cabaret has been doing a lot of buying in this highly fragmented sector and padding the top-line gain in the process. However, even on a comps basis, same-club sales were up an impressive 8%.
You're not seeing that kind of unit-level growth in most dining, drinking, and entertainment concepts. The other company to come through with news of an 8% spike in comps last month was Dollar Menu haven McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) .
Hmmm. The two places where waving a dollar bill will suffice are doing well. Go figure.
2. SINA evil
If watching your stateside stocks miss Wall Street's profit targets has you down, maybe a passport is in order. Many Chinese tech stocks have delivered better-than-expected results this past quarter, and that includes SINA (Nasdaq: SINA ) on Wednesday.
Revenue soared 64% to $105.4 million in its third quarter. Adjusted earnings climbed 40% to $0.44 a share. Analysts would have settled for $0.41 a share in profitability, making this 11 quarters in a row in which SINA has beaten bottom-line expectations.
3. Big G gets bigger
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) keeps getting bigger. The leading online company introduced video and voice chat to its Gmail offering. It also took a major step in monetizing its YouTube juggernaut, by starting to sell sponsored videos that will work similar to its successful keyword-bidding AdWords platform.
4. No Swiss miss here
Athletic-footwear maker K-Swiss (Nasdaq: KSWS ) is coming up with its own economic stimulus package. The company will be paying its shareholders a special $2-per-share dividend next month.
I'm not typically a fan of these one-time payouts. Sending these dividends in December also creates a taxable event for its investors. However, the company's balance sheet is flush with $290 million in cash. K-Swiss certainly has the flexibility to return some of that money to its shareholders.
5. Good news, Siriusly
Did you catch this week's earnings report out of Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) ? Ignore the "two bits" share price for a moment, and it seems as if CEO Mel Karmazin's plan is falling into place. Revenue on a combined basis rose by 16% as the satellite-radio giant's loss from operations narrowed substantially. Karmazin notes that the company is very close to breakeven on an operating basis.
Sure, there are high refinancing hurdles looming next year. I'm also not happy at all with Sirius XM's decision to replace some of my favorite XM stations with Sirius channels featuring thinner playlists and chattier DJs. However, the company is heading operationally in the right direction.
6. Real estate wins for a change
Commercial real estate services company CB Richard Ellis (NYSE: CBG ) did it! Even in this horrendous market, the company was able to pull off a secondary stock offering for a whopping 50 million shares.
Sure, the company did have to settle. The new shares were priced at $3.77 apiece, a far cry from the 52-week high of $24.75. However, successfully tapping the market for additional liquidity at a time like this is special.
So there you have it! Good news is out there, if you know where to look. Now I have to wonder what will happen if I wave four shares of Sirius XM Radio stock at a McDonald's or a strip club.
I'll get back to you on that.