This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right.

May 2, 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. Yelp me, please
Yelp (NYSE:YELP) was on the receiving end of several analyst upgrades through April, and it earned it by month's end. The local rating and review site operator posted another blowout quarterly report on Wednesday night. Net revenue soared 66%, well ahead of analyst estimates. Yelp's quarterly deficit also was better than the red ink that the pros were forecasting.

There's no denying the magnetism of Yelp for both visitors and merchants. There are now 57 million reviews on the site -- a 46% pop over the year-ago quarter. The number of active local business accounts has grown even faster, up 65% over the past year to 74,000 merchants. It received a few more analyst upgrades after the report.

2. Pick a Penney
J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) has been a punching bag in the retail world over the past two years, but every once in a while we get an incident that makes it seem as if shareholders aren't simply in the waiting room of extinction. This week, it was apparel giant PVH -- the company behind Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Izod -- offering some kind words on its relationship with J.C. Penney. 

"The Penney's business is running on or ahead of plan and given what their sales trends are, we think that's a grand slam home run," PVH's CEO said at an investor conference early in the week. He also singled out the success of its Izod mini stores at J.C. Penney, which rang up 20% more per product than the department store average. 

3. Let's get Sirius
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) is flexing its improving credit-rating muscle. The satellite radio provider is gearing up to offer $750 million in senior notes that won't come due until 2024. 

Sirius XM isn't smarting for money. It expects to generate roughly $1.1 billion in free cash flow this year. However, it's been aggressively buying shares, and it only makes sense to take advantage of its improving standing to borrow at what should be a low interest rate. 

4. Skull and crossbones
Skullcandy (NASDAQ:SKUL) is showing signs of a turnaround. The maker of edgy earbuds and headphones came through with a smaller loss than analysts expected. Skullcandy's deficit of $0.12 a share for the quarter was far better than the $0.17-per-share loss that analysts forecast.

The beat isn't really much of a surprise. Skullcandy beat Wall Street income estimates every quarter last year, too. The key for Skullcandy is to come through with a profit for the entire year after posting a small loss last year. The news is encouraging on that front. Skullcandy's outlook now calls for a profit of $0.16 per share to $0.20 per share in 2014. Analysts were settling for $0.13 a share.

5. LeapFrog wears it well
LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF) has been in a funk since its LeapPad Ultra fell flat last summer, but now the electronic-learning specialist is giving wearable computing a shot. LeapFrog unveiled LeapBand, a fitness tracker for kids that measures activity. 

It's no Fitbit, but the $39.99 bracelet features an accelerometer to measure movement and a high-res color screen where kids can interact with 50 different apps. Points scored through activities can also be used to enhance the experience with a virtual pet. 

The last time LeapFrog hopped on a trend -- with the original LeapPad tablet three years ago -- it paid off in a major way. LeapFrog's growth has shifted into reverse, so the August arrival of the LeapBand cannot come soon enough.

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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of LeapFrog Enterprises. It also recommends Yelp and owns shares of Sirius XM Radio. 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.

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