If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Keep your GeoEye on the shadow
The view is pretty good from the sky in assessing GeoEye's (Nasdaq: GEOY ) latest blowout quarter. The satellite-imagery provider posted an adjusted profit of $0.52 a share, reversing a small deficit during the same quarter a year ago. Analysts were settling for earnings of $0.36 a share, but what do they know? The pros have been underestimating GeoEye's profit potential for more than a year.
Revenue soared 78% higher to $80.4 million. The only worry is that U.S. government contracts accounted for just over two-thirds of GeoEye's revenue. Obviously, plenty of companies are carving out cozy livings as government contractors, though the impact of budget crunches in the future will hang over the company like, well, a satellite.
2. Giving the microchips some credit
The outlook is a little cheerier for Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD ) . The computing semiconductor survivor received a credit rating upgrade from Moody's on Monday.
AMD's improving finances led to the upgrade, though this isn't simply about giving the company access to cheaper credit if it needs to go down that particular road. The upgrade also validates the company's staying power, and that should make it a better partner for the computer makers relying on its microprocessors.
3. Going for the play in display
Universal Display's (Nasdaq: PANL ) stock climbed by 7% on Tuesday after the OLED (organic light emitting device) pioneer posted a 50% surge in quarterly revenue and a substantially narrower deficit.
Sure, we're talking about a mere $4.2 million in revenue during the three months, but there are plenty of encouraging signs that show energy-efficient OLED technology taking off. It's being incorporated into some of the hottest smartphone handsets and portable MP3 players. It remains to be seen how much Universal Display can rake in as the platform grows in popularity, but at least its display heart is in the right place.
4. Palace in wonderland
Disney (NYSE: DIS ) came through with better-than-expected earnings -- again -- this week. The family-entertainment giant notched a mere 6% advance on the top line in its latest quarter, but all five of its subsidiaries managed to grow their revenue during the period. It's a refreshing contrast to the company's previous quarter, when only Disney's media networks inched higher.
There are still challenges at Disney. Operating profits at ABC fell during the period, in contrast to quarterly network gains at CBS (NYSE: CBS ) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) . The media titan is also struggling to drum up bookings at its theme-park resorts without serving up the massive discounts it provided during the darkest recessionary stretches. The company will be challenged to drum up another Lost for its fall lineup after the show ends its run later this month.
However, being a colossal media company is all about juggling priorities and touching up the inevitable blemishes. It was a good quarter for Disney, even if it wasn't a perfect one.
5. It's a McWinner
When McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) breezed through the recession, everyone assumed that its deep value message and dependable comfort food were just the tickets for cash-strapped appetites.
Well, the recession is lifting, and folks are still wolfing down Big Macs and washing them down with chocolate milkshakes. McDonald's came through with a 3.8% spike in domestic comps last month, checking in with even higher store-level results overseas.
Mickey D's barbell pricing approach of offsetting dollar-menu bargains with higher-end fare including premium chicken breast sandwiches and its recent push into iced lattes and other fancy McCafe beverages is paying off.