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. Satellite radio is louder than you think
Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) is as popular as ever.
The satellite radio giant revealed that it closed out the second quarter with 22.9 million subscribers. Adding 622,042 net subscribers during the quarter -- and more than a million through the first half of the year -- makes the company's earlier guidance calling for 1.3 million net additions for 2012 seem silly.
Sirius XM is boosting that target to 1.6 million net accounts added for the year. It's also boosting its revenue outlook.
What makes this meaty number even more encouraging is that Sirius XM pushed through a rate hike in January. Between existing subscribers gradually bumping up against the higher monthly rate and gross additions having little choice but to pay up, even a modest uptick would've been commendable.
Sirius XM is doing just fine. It's OK to laugh at the cynics that called satellite radio a transitory technology a few years ago.
2. Sharing is caring in Austria
Zipcar (Nasdaq: ZIP ) is whipping out its passport again.
The leading car-sharing service is acquiring the parent company of Austria's CarSharing.at. It's not a big deal in terms of additional members. CarSharing.at had just 10,000 members sharing 200 cars, so we're really talking about 1% to 2% of the 709,000 Zipsters and 9,000 cars the company is currently watching over.
However, the purchase comes after Zipcar's earlier moves to acquire leading auto-sharing companies in the U.K. and Spain.
Shared automobiles will continue to be a growing business in densely populated metropolitan markets where borrowing a ride for a few hours makes far more fiscal sense than actual ownership. Consolidating within a sector that's booming but currently out of favor -- and in Europe of all places -- is a smart contrarian play.
3. Green Mountain's chilly reception
Who says Keurig brewers are only good for warm coffee beverages?
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR ) is expanding its line of Brew Over Ice beverages with this week's additions of The Original Donut Shop Coffee, Sweet & Creamy Iced Coffee, and the company's first iced fruit brew in Vitamin Burst.
There will be four flavors between the two new lines, and non-coffee-drinkers may even be won over by Vitamin Burst's all-natural, vitamin C-rich strawberry pomegranate and acai berry flavors.
It's the same K-Cup process, except the brewed beverages trickle into a cup of ice to cool down the drink.
Yes, Green Mountain still has a laundry list of concerns to tackle, but at least it's making sure its own products continue to raise the bar when it comes to what single-cup brewers can do.
4. Kidney beans
Shares of Affymax (Nasdaq: AFFY ) soared yesterday on a welcome development for its anemia drug, Omontys.
Fresenius Medical Care will begin using the drug, which boosts red blood cell production, for dialysis patients at more than 100 of its stateside dialysis centers.
Affymax has already been a big winner since Omontys was approved for treatment earlier this year. Now there's another reason to celebrate.
5. Microsoft gets ready for something important
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) is finally setting tentative dates for the release of its ballyhooed Windows 8 operating system.
The software giant revealed on Monday that the potentially revolutionary platform will be released as a consumer version in late October. Windows 8 will be released to its manufacturing partners in August.
Yes, we've known that Windows 8 will come later this year for some time, but software delays often bump release dates.
In order to keep folks buying the Windows 7 PCs that are still on the market, Microsoft also offered a $14.99 Windows 8 Pro upgrade to anyone buying a new computer starting this week.