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
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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.

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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