6 Pieces of Good News! Finally!

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.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. SINA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He's the inspiration for The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" song. Hdoes not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, save for Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (3)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 4:39 PM, ranchrfl wrote:

    Want to know how to fix this mess? Get the media to focus on the 99.72% of American homes that are not in foreclosure and stop scaring the folks to death and into a severe economic recession or depression!

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 9:59 AM, scotsslant wrote:

    Scot here. Finally, a person with a brain. Ranchrfl says the media are only reporting the amount of foreclosures while leaving the rest of the story untold. It's true: less than 1% of the nation's housing is in foreclosure and most foreclosures are heavily concentrated regionally (ie. San Bernardino and Riverside counties in California, Las Vegas, parts of Florida etc.). The media are a bunch of boneheads who love to use fear as some sort of weapon and I have yet to figure out the "why" in questioning that kind of reporting.

    And by the way, there is one more thing: At Seeking Alpha's blogsite, several knuckleheads over there are buying into all the negative news surrounding Sirius stock as they continually use the site to slam Sirius C.E.O. Mel Karmazin: They claim he is intentionally driving Sirius towards bankruptcy. Excuse me? Don't those people realize that Karmazin holds a large portion of his personal fortune in that company? To even partially believe that Karmazin wants to see Sirius in bankruptcy proceedings is sheer stupidity....

    Scot's Slant

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 3:47 PM, dstnewman wrote:

    As Mel K. said in the Conference Call: Sirius is one of the only media companies that is actually GROWNG. Sure, it is a young company, but GROWTH in this period of recession bordering on depression is highly impressive. Sirius got caught in the middle of some of the worst times to complete their merger, but they will work their way out of it and become the premiere media company in the US within the next 5 years.

    Of course, all the fear mongering media reports is how Sirius "lost" 4.88 BILLION dollars... They did not LOOSE a penny of that, that was a write down, all numbers delaing with "valuation". They actually only LOST 4 cents per share (I think it was, too lazy to go back and look), compared to 16c a share loss year over year. 75% reduction in loss/share, with 18% increase in revenue... those numbers are quite impressive.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2008, at 12:05 PM, 181736065 wrote:

    Wow! For a change, I love reading good news backed by logic and metrics.

    Rick, you made my Sunday! (See you in the Grove where I will buy you a Mojito!) Bill J.

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