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. Cracking open Pandora's box
Pandora Media (NYSE: P  ) may as well roll out a stock discovery service to match its music discovery service.

The music-streaming powerhouse came through with blowout quarterly results on Wednesday night.

Revenue climbed 58% to $80.8 million, blowing past its earlier guidance that had spooked investors with the possibility of a larger sequential dip in revenue. Pandora's adjusted deficit of $0.09 a share was half as bad as analysts were expecting.

Pandora's outlook is just as encouraging. By targeting a loss of $0.07 to $0.11 a share for all of fiscal 2012 -- after a small deficit in the current fiscal second quarter -- the new media radio company is essentially saying it will turn a profit during the latter half of the year. Targeting at least $420 million in revenue also implies strong growth for the balance of the year.

Pandora may still be trading well below last year's IPO, but investors have to like the tune it's singing now.

2. Set your blenders to stun
Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA  ) is rocking its blenders.

The 773-unit smoothie chain kicked off the week by boosting its guidance for all of 2012. The Jamba Juice parent now sees comps at its company-owned locations climbing 4% to 6% this fiscal year. This wouldn't seem to be big news, but let's go back just two weeks. Jamba was only eyeing same-store sales to grow by 3% to 4% at the time.

Jamba's also juicing up its outlook for adjusted operating profit margins, so clearly this isn't just about a surge in store traffic. Jamba's making it count on the way down the income statement as well.

3. All Axis pass
Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) began the week rolling in dough after agreeing to swap a chunk of its stake in China's Alibaba for $7 billion.

Then it let Internet users know that it's not simply phoning it in anymore.

In a surprisingly bold move, Yahoo! introduced Axis, the meandering online giant's take at improving on the Web browser.

It's available for iOS devices as well as a plug-in for existing desktop browser users of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Axis aims to streamline the search process, but it also plays nice with other registered devices. For example, a registered user looking up a nearby Thai restaurant to eat at on his desktop browser can then fire up the same page when loading Axis on his iPhone as he's heading out for directions or to check the menu.

Yahoo!'s chances of changing the world here are slim, of course. However, you can't hit it out of the park if you don't step into the batter's box. At least Yahoo! is swinging away.

4. Zynga meets zebras
Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA  ) has seen its stock surrender nearly $5 billion in value since its $183 million purchase of Draw Something parent OMGPOP two months ago, but the social gaming giant is striking interesting deals.

Madagascar 3 opens in two weeks, and the movie studio is paying Zynga to include movie-related terms as Draw Something word choices. Zynga also teamed up with a credit card giant to offer rewards in Zynga's virtual currency.

It's easy to poke fun at the deals.

"Can I pay my AmEx bill with FarmVille money?"

However, it's all about validation. Zynga's model may have its shortcomings, but it's drawing too large a crowd for marketers to ignore.

5. Ford tough
Ford
(NYSE: F  ) cars aren't junk -- I saw that as a Ford Flex owner -- and neither is its debt. Moody's became the latest credit rating agency to upgrade the automaker's rating to investment grade.

Fitch upgraded Ford last month, but having two of the three major agencies comfortably calling shotgun is huge.

"Under the terms of the 2006 loans that saved the company, Ford needed two of the three major credit-rating agencies to upgrade it to investment-grade to reclaim the collateral it had pledged," fellow Fool John Rosevear explains.

This collateral included several factories, its HQ building, and even the rights to the Blue Oval logo!

Well done, Ford. You can have your logo now.

Keep it coming
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.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Yahoo! and Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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 Ford and Jamba. 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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