This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

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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. Sirius XM keeps gaining ground
If this is the way that Sirius XM Radio  (NASDAQ: SIRI  ) bows out as a stand-alone public company at least it's going out on a high note that may warrant a juicier buyout premium.

The satellite radio monopoly announced that it closed out the quarter with 25.56 million subscribers. That's less than it had three months ago -- making this the first sequential dip in four years -- but it was 60,000 more than the company publicly expected. 

Sirius XM also initiated subscriber and free cash flow guidance for 2014, pointing to another year of lucrative growth. It's too early to tell how this buyout saga will play out, but Sirius XM has never been on firmer ground. 

2. SodaStream gets busy with the fizzy 
SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA  ) has a new bull in tow.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Akshay Jagdale initiated coverage of SodaStream with a buy rating. He also slapped a $70 price target on the shares. 

SodaStream has been slipping since peaking last June. Thankfully, the company behind the namesake appliances that make carbonated beverages is still growing, providing the analyst with an opportunistic moment to start following SodaStream.

3. Going on a blender bender
(NASDAQ: JMBA  ) kicked off 2014 with an analyst downgrade last week, but this time it got the better end of a Wall Street pro. An analyst at Dougherty upgraded Jamba -- from neutral to buy -- slapping it with a price target of $14 in the process.

Jamba's two-year streak of positive comps came to an end in its most recent quarter, but analysts generally see a big bounce in profitability in 2014.

4. Ford's new engine 
Ford  (NYSE: F  ) disappointed investors late last month with a margin-squeezing outlook, but it's doing what it can to buy back investors with a meatier payout.

Ford is increasing its quarterly dividend by 25%. It's a great time to roll this out. The stock is trading lower since the automaker announced a couple of weeks ago that its bottom-line performance will be tested given marketing costs in introducing a record number of new vehicles in 2014, weakness in Europe, and currency devaluations in Latin America. The lower stock price and higher distribution rate combined to push Ford's new yield to nearly 3.2% as of yesterday's close.

That's smart. 

5. Pandora's rocking again 
After a brief scare, Pandora  (NYSE: P  ) is back. The leading music service revealed metrics for December that show a record number of listener hours and active listeners. 

Pandora's earlier peak in active listeners was in September, coinciding with the debut of iTunes Radio in the latter half of the month. When active listeners dipped in October and only made back some of that ground in November it was easy to wonder if Pandora finally had a rival streaming platform that was actually eating into its business. 

Well, there's apparently more than enough to share at this point. Pandora now has a whopping 76.2 million active listeners. 

Keep it going with six more smart moves for 2014
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Rick Munarriz

Rick has been writing for Motley Fool since 1995 where he's a Consumer and Tech Stocks Specialist. Yes, that's a long time. He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception. He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he now lives a block from his alma mater.

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Related Tickers

9/4/2015 4:00 PM
F $13.56 Down -0.28 -2.02%
Ford CAPS Rating: ****
JMBA $14.23 Down -0.25 -1.73%
Jamba, Inc. CAPS Rating: **
P $17.99 Down -0.14 -0.77%
Pandora Media CAPS Rating: *
SIRI $3.78 Down -0.02 -0.53%
Sirius XM Radio CAPS Rating: ***
SODA $14.48 Down -0.11 -0.75%
SodaStream CAPS Rating: **