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. Climbing the wall of worry
Redbox parent Coinstar has a new corporate moniker.
Coinstar began trading as Outerwall (NASDAQ: OUTR) on Tuesday, a name that emphasizes its growing portfolio of automated kiosks along the outer wall of retail establishments.
Growth at Redbox has slowed lately as folks move on from disc-based rentals, and its namesake coin-collecting machines are only a sliver of Outerwall's business these days.
However, Outerwall also announced the acquisition of ecoATM on Tuesday, a fast-growing network of machines that analyze the condition of smartphones, media players, and tablets for recycling. EcoATM machines quickly spit out a quote for new, used, or broken products after analyzing available marketplace options.
At a time of digital delivery, it's smart to see Outerwall focus on an underserved market that deals with the necessary hardware behind the media revolution that will ultimately make Redbox less popular. It's a smart way to hedge its bets.
2. Nokia is Finnish but not finished
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) hasn't done a lot to make its way into this weekly column in recent years, but it's earning a spot this time.
The handset pioneer is cutting a deal with Siemens to get the 50% stake of the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture.
The move will help Nokia diversify from the devices and services segment that hasn't been as profitable for it lately. The company's also getting a great price since Siemens didn't really have a lot of options in lining up a potential buyer for its stake outside of Nokia.
According to The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column, Nokia's roughly $2.2 billion purchase implies an enterprise value of just 0.2 times sales for Nokia Siemens Networks. Its closest competitor trades at 0.9 times its enterprise value.
Well played, Nokia.
3. Zynga thinks outside of the box, but inside the Xbox
Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is another company that has rarely made the cut in this weekly column, but the leader in social and casual games turned heads by bringing on Xbox's president to be its new CEO.
Mark Pincus is still sticking around as chairman and chief products officer, but bringing in Don Mattrick -- and reportedly on a compensation package that's largely based on stock instead of cash -- validates Zynga at a time when bookings have been soft and executive retention has been even softer.
Zynga needs credibility in the gaming industry, and despite Mattrick's recent setbacks in introducing the Xbox One earlier this year, he's a more than qualified choice to lead the company that has been a colossal disappointment since going public two years ago.
4. Southwest is no longer exactly a frills-free airline
Southwest (NYSE: LUV) is making its flight more entertaining.
The low-cost carrier announced that passengers will be able to stream DISH Network content on their Wi-Fi-enabled tablets and phones at no additional charge.
The move to provide complimentary access to 14 live TV channels and 75 on-demand shows through Southwest's fleet of more than 400 Wi-Fi-enabled planes is a sweet deal for the airline because it doesn't have to pay for it.
DISH will be providing the content, covering free Wi-Fi access through Southwest's third-party provider in exchange for some commercials for the country's second-largest satellite television provider that will play at the start of broadcasts.
Southwest won't even have to worry about installing or maintaining seatback monitors, since it's up to the passengers to bring the Wi-Fi-backed devices.
5. Netflix won't need a pledge drive to keep these PBS shows on the air
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) continues to flesh out its content library.
The leading video service struck a deal this week to expand its existing relationship with PBS.
The multiyear deal will bring The Bletchley Circle, NOVA, and Secrets of the Dead to Netflix's growing digital vault.
Netflix also continues to try to make nice with young families upset about the kid-friendly Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows that went away in late May, adding PBS children faves Super Why!, Wild Kratts, Caillou, and Arthur next year.
With Netflix's collection of content growing at a time when its pricing remains constant, it's a welcome contrast to the scenario at traditional cable and satellite television providers, where prices keep inching higher with every passing year for the same content.
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