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. Making your great-great-great-grandmother proud
Ancestry.com (Nasdaq: ACOM  ) keeps growing its user base. The leading genealogy website operator revealed that it now has more than 2 million active subscribers.

This is a pretty big deal, coming just as the company's second quarter was ending. Ancestry.com was just shy of 1.9 million active family tree investigators three months earlier, so the sequential boost is a welcome sight.

Ancestry.com had a few volatile weeks during the quarter. NBC decided that it wouldn't renew Who Do You Think You Are?, the Ancestry.com-partnered show that would dive into the lineage of a celebrity every week. There were also reports of Ancestry.com putting itself up for sale, leading cynics to wonder whether its growth was peaking.

Well, we'll know more about how things play out on the top and bottom lines in a few weeks when the company reports its latest financials, but at least we now know that things look good on the membership front.

2. An endless summer of streaming
Remember all of those irate Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) users that were ready to bolt after last summer's poorly received subscription rate changes? Well, while many fled in droves, those who decided to stick around are as captivated by the video service as ever.

CEO Reed Hastings revealed on Tuesday that Netflix served up more than a billion hours of monthly streams last month. It's the first time that the company has hit that gleaming milestone.

Just as Ancestry.com's record subscriber total bodes well for that company's quarter, this welcome piece of news is a good indicator that retention rates are holding up nicely.

3. A gaming bull in a China shop
Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) has had its challenges in recent years, but a perpetual winner in its war chest has been its Call of Duty franchise.

Soon we'll see how the world's most populous nation feels about the military combat game when Activision Blizzard rolls out Call of Duty Online in China.

The game has been in development for two years, and Tencent -- the gaming giant that also watches over the popular QQ.com instant-messaging platform -- has an exclusive multiyear license to put the game in action in China.

Unlike players of the console version, China's online players won't have to shell out roughly $60 for the game. It will be distributed under the "free-to-play" model that most Chinese online gaming companies have gravitated to, where the game is free to play, but virtual goods can be purchased to enhance the experience.

Whether it's a big hit or not, it will at least be incremental for Activision Blizzard.

4. GM stands for "General Marketing"
General Motors may not be ready to kiss Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) goodbye after all.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that executives from both camps have been discussing the possibility of GM's return as an advertiser on the leading social-networking website.

GM's public beef was about the effectiveness of the site's display advertising, and Facebook has plenty to gain if it does manage to get the leading automaker back on its marketing platform. It would mean that the site has validated the value of spending money to promote a company on Facebook, rather than relying solely on the free branding pages that are available.

5. Sirius XM bucks back
Sirius XM Radio
(Nasdaq: SIRI  ) broke through the $2 ceiling this week. The satellite radio giant had been trading below $2 since late May.

There wasn't any material news on the company, but strong auto sales reported for the month of June should translate into a healthy uptick in new subscribers down the line.

Keep it coming
If you want to make some smart stock moves yourself, find out about The 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 Netflix, Facebook, and Ancestry.com. The Fool owns shares of and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Activision Blizzard, Ancestry.com, and General Motors Company. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard. 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 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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  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2012, at 1:55 AM, MrSinnister wrote:

    When will Discovery Labs (DSCO) finally get some love? I mean they have 2 FDA approved products that go into distribution in the 4Q, with the FDA approval coming in March. They only have 43 million outstanding shares, with a current market cap of 125M which nearly multiplies with every 10 cent increase. They are going to distribute a drug for Respiratory Distress Syndrome for infants in the US and European markets, and they have TREMENDOUS upside, already up 60 percent on the year. Add to that two more drugs awaiting approval, Aeroserf, that is in a collaboration with Batelle to get streamlined and fine-tuned and Surfaxin LS, a liquid version of their already FDA-approved drug Surfaxin. How this stock stays in the 2 range is amazingly shortsighted.

    Value of Surf LS + Afectair: 275million

    Shares O/S: 43mil

    Tell me why we can't see $40+/share with DSCO. Note that my sell target is below this, but I expect the stock to soar once it gains momentum. Imagine that liquid surfaxin penetrates the market quickly and gets great reviews by practicing docs (which it should). Surf LS will be even better. And Aerosurf even better after that.

    Facts:

    1. one approved device

    2. one approved drug

    3. $40 million in cash

    4. no debts

    5. no preferred stocks

    6. no impending warrants (outside of the 5yr 5M at 2.80)

    8. exclusive rights

    9. excellent pipeline

    10. Newly partnered (Batelle for R&D)

    11. MAA approval soon

    12. New device new drug launch soon

    13. Mkt Cap 128 million ???

    At 3 times sales, this is already $400 million firm, and that is $10 PPS. DSCO === Hidden Gem.

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