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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. Dishing out a lot of dollars
If you want courtroom drama, you'll have to set your DVR to record one, because TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO ) and DISH Network (Nasdaq: DISH ) have finally concluded a seven-year court battle over the DVR pioneer's intellectual property. DISH will have to pay at least $500 million to TiVo. That may seem like a lot of money, but both stocks popped higher on the news.
It was a forgone conclusion that TiVo would emerge victorious, so now there's simply relief from both camps.
Both companies now have bigger fish to fry. DISH remains the distant silver medalist in satellite television, and TiVo continues to shed subscribers. At least now they can focus on tackling those issues instead of one another.
2. eBay goes fishing for charity
eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) is buying a proven upstart with a philanthropic bent.
The marketplace giant is buying MissionFish, the company that has powered the eBay Giving Works initiative, helping to raise $250 million for nonprofits along the way. Sellers can put up items whose proceeds are distributed to charitable organizations, and buyers dig into their pockets to make donations. This move won't be much of a game-changer for eBay's bottom line, but it's a step toward regaining its growth mojo on the auction front.
The satellite-radio giant's quarter was a stinker on several fronts. Revenue grew by a lower-than-expected 9%. Average revenue per user, conversion rates, and churn took sequential turns for the worse.
CEO Mel Karmazin then stepped in to save the day during Tuesday morning's conference call, alluding to higher subscriber rates that may come shortly after the company's three-year regulatory price freeze ends this summer. For a company with billions in tax-loss carryforwards, most of the increases should go straight to the bottom line.
The optimism explains why Standard & Poor's analyst Tuna Amobi bumped his price target on the shares, from $2 to $2.50, despite a ho-hum quarterly report.
4. Just what the doctor ordered
They say that the best compromises are the ones that leave both parties a bit unhappy.
It doesn't work that way in the M&A realm, though. The best buyouts are the ones where shares of both the acquirer and the acquired climb on the news. Teva Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: TEVA ) and Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH ) both moved higher on Monday, after Israeli-based Teva announced that it would buy Cephalon in a $6.8 billion deal.
Teva's 3% uptick and Cephalon's 4% pop validate the deal.
5. Netflix bowls a perfect score
Another company nabbing a juicy analyst price target despite recently hitting new highs was Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) . Citi's Mark Mahaney upgraded the video-rental giant from hold to buy, while bumping his price target all the way up to $300.
It's true that Mahaney doesn't like to sit still. He has shifted gears on Netflix four times over the past year alone. However, he thinks Netflix is being penalized for the losses it will incur as it expands its streaming service beyond Canada. He also believes that the company's domestic business could be good for as much as $8 a share next year, a far cry from the $6.49 a share that analysts believe all of Netflix will deliver in 2012.
Mahaney's aiming high on all fronts, and historically that has been the winning approach when it comes to Netflix.