This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right this week.

Jan 3, 2014 at 5:35PM

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. Don't pull the plug 
Things are looking up for Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG), and shares soared 50% on Thursday after an upbeat order update.

Plug Power announced that it closed out the fourth quarter with $32 million in orders, and that the new quarter will meet or exceed that performance. Many of Plug Power's existing customers placed additional orders during the quarter, validating the model. Plug Power also expects to generate healthy recurring revenue in hydrogen and service.

It didn't take long for Plug Power to set itself up as a frontrunner for the best-performing stock of 2014.

2. Disney isn't Goofy
Disney (NYSE:DIS) is looking a bit brighter in the eyes of Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris. He is upgrading the family entertainment giant from neutral to buy. He's propping up his price target from $77 to $87. 

Morris is encouraged by the performance of Disney's latest theatrical releases and what the future holds in the coming years as the House of Mouse milks its acquired Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm properties. 

3. Cheering on the Cheerios 
General Mills
(NYSE:GIS) has become the latest company to stamp out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a flagship product. The cereal giant's signature Cheerios will now be free of GMOs. The move doesn't apply to all of its brands, but it's naturally a step that's being applauded by activists arguing that introducing modified harvest enhancers into crops are hurtful in the long run.

Are GMOs really bad for you? That debate is beyond the scope of this weekly column. The point here is merely that a growing number of people are rallying against GMOs, and that makes it a smart move by General Mills to sidestep the rage of activists. 

4. Baidu bows
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) has had an unfortunate knack for being on the wrong end of piracy issues over the years, and this time the National Copyright Administration of China has fined the company for unofficial copies of movies and TV shows that show up in the search giant's query results. 

Baidu quickly agreed to play nice, promising to ramp up its filtering technology to stamp out the links to pirated videos. It's the smart response on Baidu's part, and it also opens the door for legitimate video companies in China that pay up for licensed content. 

There will never be a perfect cure for rampant piracy. This problem is not limited to China. However, it should provide a boost to China's video providers, and that ultimately includes Baidu itself.

5. Pandora ads it up
 (NYSE:P) got a boost when Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham issued a bullish note on the streaming-music leader. 

Sticking to his earlier buy rating, Graham's encouragement stems from trends in advertising revenue. His taste test found that December treated listeners to a marginally lower number of ads -- and a larger mix of shorter 15-second spots -- than earlier in the quarter. However, he still sees revenue per hour improving.

Investors have already seen this trend in play. Pandora's revenue grew roughly three times faster than the number of listener hours it served in its previous quarter. Graham is modeling $198 million in revenue for its latest quarter, well ahead of the $187.9 million in revenue that is the average forecast of his peers. 

Keep it going with six more smart moves
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Baidu, Pandora Media, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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