This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

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. Netflix fights back
You didn't think that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) would stay down forever, did you?

The video buffet operator is starting the year on a positive note. It kicked off 2012 by rolling out a trailer for Lilyhammer, the first original series that will initially air exclusively through Netflix streaming next month. Then Netflix issued a press release to let the world know that it served up 2 billion hours of video streaming during the final quarter of 2011.

That's a lot of content, averaging out to less than 100 hours for each of its more than 20 million streaming subscribers during the last three months of the year.

This is important. Incensed users were swearing off the service in September after the Qwikster fiasco and the price hike for folks on dual plans. It's pretty clear that streaming does matter to its audience of Web-tethered couch potatoes.  

2. Sirius growth
When Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) closed out its third quarter with fewer listeners than analysts were expecting, it was easy to doubt the media giant's ability to add the 440,000 net subscribers necessary during the final quarter to hit its goal of 1.6 million net additions for all of 2011.

Well, Sirius XM made it -- with 100,000 more new accounts to spare.

The satellite radio provider closed out 2011 with 21.9 million subscribers, 1.7 million ahead of where it was a year earlier. This is the most subscribers that the combined services have tacked on since 2007.

We still don't know if Sirius XM had to offer ridiculous deals to keep churn in check or if it had to pay through the nose to acquire new members. The average revenue per user and gross subscriber acquisition costs will be revealed a month from now, when Sirius XM files its fourth quarter. However, the preliminary headcount is impressive.

3. There's nothing wrong with fizzy lemonade
SodaStream
(Nasdaq: SODA  ) has a surprising partner as an ambassador for the company's carbonated beverage system.

The fast-growing pop star is in a deal with Kraft that will result in new SodaStream flavors based on Kraft's Crystal Light drink mix and Country Time lemonade. These aren't beverage brands that folks normally associate with carbonated refreshments, but it should help increase SodaStream's visibility and possibly provide wider retail distribution given Kraft's clout with grocers.

4. Ramming the bus
It was a strong holiday quarter for Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS  ) .

The patent-rich technology licensing company is now expecting revenue of approximately $83 million for the quarter that ended in last week. Rambus' previous guidance called for revenue to clock in between $66 million and $71 million.

The company didn't issue a bottom-line outlook in this week's welcome update, but given the high-margin nature of Rambus' revenue streams, it should have meaty implications.

5. Ma Bell is going to pay
In another legal victory, TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) has once again won big in flexing its intellectual property muscle.

AT&T will shell out at least $215 million to TiVo, part of a settlement that settles the score for AT&T's neglect of TiVo's patents with its DVR receivers and covers licensing rights for the future.

TiVo's flagship business of servicing DVR subscribers may have softened in recent years, but there's clearly a market for TiVo's juicy patents. This is the second nine-figure settlement in as many years for TiVo.

If you want to make some smart stock moves yourself, find out Motley Fool's top stock for 2012. It's a free report, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of SodaStream International and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


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