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. Burrito boost
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) hit an all-time high on Friday after delivering tasty results. The fast-casual dining chain saw revenue in its latest quarter climb a better-than-expected 18%, fueled by brisk expansion and a hearty 6.2% spike in comps.
There are now 1,539 locations, including its first location in Germany. And Chipotle shows no signs of slowing: Expansion is accelerating, with the burrito roller eyeing 180 to 195 new openings next year, up from the 165 to 180 will have been opened in 2013.
Toy Story of Terror was a half-hour computer-animated special starring the popular characters from the Toy Story franchise. This is a no-brainer for the "smart" list for several reasons.
- It aired on Disney's own ABC. That's some welcome double-dipping.
- A fourth Toy Story movie may be hard to justify, given the somewhat conclusive ending of the third film, but seasonal specials like these can continue to build up the appeal of these beloved characters.
- This summer Disney put out its prolific and likely lucrative Disney Infinity video game, which combines virtual console worlds with action figures fueled by radio-frequency identification. The Woody figure comes out next week.
So, yes, Disney knows how to milk its rich library of characters. It didn't pay billions for Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm simply to rest on its laurels.
Sources are telling The Wall Street Journal that Netflix is in talks to have Netflix offered as part of pay TV packages. Cable and satellite companies see this as a way to hold on to their thinning subscriber bases, but this would ultimately be a better deal for Netflix, because it will make it even easier for content providers to strike licensing deals with Netflix without feeling they're hurting the bruised pay-TV industry.
The only thing that would be sweeter is if Netflix waited until it had penetrated enough major providers before springing a premium pay-per-view offering of first-run movies and shows, making it a complete video offering.
Netflix also picked up a new first-run show, lining up a new series by the Damages creators.
4. Big G comes up big
It had been a problematic week for tech reports -- and then came Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) numbers after Thursday's market close.
The leading search giant posted encouraging quarterly results. Revenue climbed 12%, fueled by a 26% surge in the number of paid clicks it delivered to advertisers. Sure, we also saw an 8% dip in revenue per click, but that's been the norm over the past few quarters as mobile grows faster than desktop.
It was still a strong showing after most of the tech bellwethers that reported earlier in the week had disappointed the market.
5. A million smooth salesmen
Jamba (NASDAQ: JMBA ) will be blending a lot of promotional smoothies later this year, teaming up with Isis -- the mobile commerce platform bankrolled by three of the country's largest wireless carriers -- for a campaign to increase awareness of the new mobile wallet.
Jamba will offer a million free smoothies, and it's a smart move for the leading stand-alone smoothie chain. It hosed down its guidance for the balance of the year after its seasonally potent summer didn't pan out. It can use the business, and having its brand promoted by three major carriers can only help.
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