This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right.

Apr 17, 2014 at 5:15PM

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. Netflix cracks the whip  
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) started a neat practice last year, publishing the monthly average speeds that leading Internet providers achieve in delivering the Netflix streaming experience to subscribers during peak viewing times.

ISP-shaming is an interesting strategy, but we're seeing how it pays off. Monday's March update shows that Comcast is moving up the list since its decision to connect directly to Netflix. The average speed for Comcast's Xfinity customers improved by 65% since January.

It's true that Netflix has to pay Comcast for the improvement. However, Netflix's growing popularity is probably making it pretty hard for the laggards in its monthly Netflix ISP Speed Index to retain their broadband subscribers.

2. We will, we will guac you
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) continues to get more popular. The fast-growing burrito-roller posted a jaw-dropping 13.4% surge in comps for the first quarter. So many casual-dining, fast-food, and even fast-casual operators have been bellyaching about weak traffic trends during the first few months of the year, but along comes the market darling to blow up the industry's scapegoats. 

Critics will argue that earnings fell short of expectations despite the pop in revenue. That's true, and it's unfortunately not new. Chipotle merely met Wall Street's profit estimates last time out and fell short the quarter before. Margins are being squeezed here. However, it's hard to quibble about the near-term profitability when the concept's popularity continues to hit new levels. Chipotle sees positive comps in the high single digits for all of 2014. 

3. J&J is dy-no-mite
One of better earnings reports this week came from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The company behind Band-Aids, the namesake baby shampoo, and various health-care products posted better-than-expected financial results. 

Sales rose just 3% to $18.1 billion, but that was ahead of Wall Street's target. Adjusted earnings rose to $1.54 per share from $1.22 a share a year earlier, clocking in ahead of the $1.48 per share that the pros had forecast.

Johnson & Johnson's good report didn't end there: It boosted its profit projection for all of 2014. 

4. Take a hike
The banking giants kicked off this quarter's earnings season last Friday with mixed results. We're generally seeing better results this week, and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) capped off the action by posting market-thumping profitability this morning.

Revenue also clocked in higher across all three of Morgan Stanley's three banking categories. However, Morgan Stanley makes the cut in this week's list because it also announced that it would be doubling its quarterly dividend. Bumping up its distributions to $0.10 per share may not seem like much. The 1.3% yield won't send income investors racing for the stock. It's still encouraging to see Morgan Stanley sharing more of the wealth with its stockholders after a strong quarter.

5. Pop life 
SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) moved higher on Wednesday after a report in an Israeli financial newspaper claimed that a beverage giant may be buying as much as a 16% stake in the company that turns tap water into soda. 

Rumor-mill chatter rarely makes the cut in this weekly column, but the stock did move 8% on the day because it makes too much sense. Coke, the world's largest soft-drink company, took a 10% stake in a java heavy just because it will have a home soda maker hit the market in its next fiscal year. The market validation is there, and SodaStream is still the undisputed leader that just happens to be trading for half of last year's peak. 

3 Exciting Trends to Profit From
The one sure way to get wealthy is to invest in a groundbreaking company that goes on to dominate a multibillion-dollar industry. Our analysts have found multibagger stocks time and again. And now they think they've done it again with three stock picks that they believe could generate the same type of phenomenal returns. They've revealed these picks in a new free report that you can download instantly by clicking here now.

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix and SodaStream. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, and SodaStream. 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