Priceline Falls on OpenTable Acquisition; Shutterfly Advances

The Dow ends higher, but can't negate earlier losses in the week; Wal-Mart deals with serious supply-chain issues.

Jun 13, 2014 at 6:00PM

Stocks recovered from a two-day sell-off on Friday, but weren't able to salvage any weekly gains as worries about poor global growth, and news of an Iraqi uprising kept investors on the cautious side. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) stock ended as the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), even as the index added 41 points, or 0.3%, to end at 16,775.

Wal-Mart lost 0.6% on Friday, finishing with 2.5% losses for the week. As a $240 billion global retailer with thousands of stores and hundreds of thousands of employees, there's admittedly a lot to manage. Wal-Mart has had well-documented difficulty managing the contentment of its workforce; but another, far-more troubling revelation came to light this week regarding its supply chain. According to an investigative piece by The Guardian earlier this week, Thai seafood supplier CP Foods, the world's largest prawn/shrimp farmer, uses slave labor to procure the shrimp, which it then sells to massive retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco, and others. According to the report, the slaves are often beaten and drugged, and sometimes even executed. Both Wal-Mart and Costco have said they're taking action in light of the sickening human rights violations.

On a lighter note, shares of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) shed 3% today after the company announced its acquisition of the restaurant-booking website OpenTable. Priceline will pony up $2.6 billion for the stake, a generous premium to the company's previous valuation: shares surged 48.4% on Wall Street today. Priceline isn't afraid to pay up for growth, which is one reason the company recently changed its name officially from to The Priceline Group. The online travel agency paid $1.8 billion, or a 26% premium, to acquire the travel pricing tools website Kayak in late 2012.



Another company around OpenTable's size that's still small enough and growing fast enough to be a potential takeover target is Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY), which saw shares add 2.6% today. Shutterfly allows customers to upload pictures to its website, then compose their own photobooks or customized calendars that the company then assembles and mails. While there aren't necessarily huge barriers to entry that would stop competitors from elbowing their way in, Shutterfly has built a name for itself, and more than tripled its sales from $246 million in 2009 to $783 million in 2013.

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John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends OpenTable and Priceline Group. The Motley Fool owns shares of Priceline Group. 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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