This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right.

Mar 21, 2014 at 4:45PM

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. Use the force, Luke 
There's little doubt that the highly anticipated seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise will be next year's biggest holiday-season blockbuster, but now we know that Disney's aiming even higher. IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) and the family entertainment giant announced a half-dozen Disney movies that will be receiving the big-screen treatment in the next two years.

Three of them will be Marvel superhero releases. Two of them will be ambitious theatrical releases based on Disney properties. However, the sixth and final entry is Star Wars: Episode VII. The movie's going to be huge anyway, but IMAX's premium-priced screenings make sure that Disney will milk more revenue per ticket sold.

2. Lennar: Merely this, and nothing more
It's been a good run for homebuilders, and Lennar (NYSE:LEN) kept the good times rolling by posting better-than-expected financial results on Thursday.

Revenue soared 38% to $1.4 billion as a 13% spike in deliveries and a huge 18% jump in average selling price per home boosted Lennar's top line. Earnings per share soared to $0.35 per share, blowing through the $0.28 per share that analysts were targeting. 

There are naturally fears that sales will begin to slow or that prices will stop rising as mortgage rates move higher, but for now Lennar's in pretty good shape, with its backlog of orders up 15% in terms of homes and up 33% in terms of the value of those homes. 

3. Pandora pumps up the volume
Pandora (NYSE:P) remains the country's most popular music-streaming service, cranking out 1.51 billion hours of audio content last month alone. Now it's making sure that folks looking to skip its many ads will pay more for the experience.

Pandora announced that its rate for Pandora One is increasing 25% to $4.99 a month. It's not the first popular online service beginning with the letter "P" to push through a 25% hike -- I'm looking at you, Prime.

The reason a rate increase falls into the "smartest stock moves" column is that Pandora's going about it the right way. It's explaining how its performer royalties alone have climbed 53% since introducing its premium plan, and this is the first increase. Pandora is also grandfathering in existing members at $3.99 -- for now -- and that will help keep churn in check.

4. Come original
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is probably the next major online platform to increase its monthly rates, but until then it's still living up to subscriber expectations by continuing to pad its growing digital catalog with content that viewers can't catch anywhere else.

Grace and Frankie -- a new sit-com starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda -- will be the next piece of original programming going into Netflix's online arsenal. All 13 half-hour episodes of the first season will be available for streaming globally through Netflix next year.

It's all incremental for Netflix, which continues to take advantage of its growing subscriber base to invest in more content.

5. Pop goes the world 
There will be more soda makers out there fueled by SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) now that KitchenAid is on board. The company that's best known for its stand mixers and dishwashers finally unveiled its Sparkling Beverage Maker, a slick $250 all-metal device that uses SodaStream carbonators to turn still water into seltzer. 

It's a great move for SodaStream, especially after it barely broken even during the holiday quarter given inventory flubs with its soda makers. Having other companies crank out the low-margin starter kits so it can cash in on the spike in high-margin CO2 refills and flavors is a brilliant move.

3 more smart moves
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix, SodaStream, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Imax, Netflix, Pandora Media, SodaStream, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Imax, Netflix, Pandora Media, SodaStream, 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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers