This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

These five companies got it right.

Jun 20, 2014 at 7:33PM

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. Rays of hope
SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) moved higher after it made a deal to broaden its operations. The solar panel installer will be paying $200 million -- and as much as $150 million more in potential earn-outs -- for solar module start-up Silevo

The market liked the move, padding SolarCity's market cap by nearly $900 million when the news was announced on Tuesday. You don't often see a buyer tack on nearly triple the value of an acquisition, but SolarCity knows what it's doing. Chairman Elon Musk explains that SolarCity's ambitious growth targets make securing solar modules a priority. Silevo's emphasis on efficiency should pay off when scaled by SolarCity's future plans. 

2. Come on, baby -- dial my Fire (NASDAQ:AMZN) introduced its first smartphone on Wednesday. It didn't live up to the 3-D holographic hype, but it's hard to deny that its face-following display is impressive. It also isn't hitting the market priced to sell, going with the same $199 subsidized price with a two-year contract as the entry-level iPhone. And it's also limited to a single carrier when it hits the market next month.

Limitations aside, this is a winner. The Dynamic Perspective sensor creates rich visuals which are presently unmatched by the competition. Amazon is also offering unlimited cloud storage of photos, something that should be eventually embraced by the competition. The Firefly technology is also another potential game changer, providing deeper interaction with media and other functions.

For a limited time, Amazon's offering a free year of Amazon Prime -- or 12 additional months for existing members -- so it does effectively bring the price closer to a more realistic $100 subsidized with a two-year contract. 

3. Giving Baidu its due
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) will probably always be known as a Chinese search engine, but it's making some serious inroads in other online categories.

Baidu announced on Tuesday that Chinese software analytics specialist AV-Comparatives has dubbed Baidu Antivirus the country's most popular antivirus program. Earlier in the week, dot-com researcher Enfodesk reported that Baidu Map was the country's top mapping application during this year's first quarter. Map apps dominate mobile downloads in China's traffic-congested major cities. 

Accolades in security software and map apps are sweet badges for China, especially since Baidu has been investing in other growth areas including online video, travel, and app marketplaces. Baidu investors will be in a world of hurt if it begins to relinquish the lucrative paid-search crown, but at least it's taking steps to diversify just in case. 

4. Flying off the Handler
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) continues to be a force in programming. The leading premium video service announced a deal with talk show and comedy icon Chelsea Handler. It will start slowly with a stand-up special in October, followed next year by four docu-comedy specials with Handler tackling everything from politics to NASCAR.

All of this content will be exclusive to Netflix, but the real gem in the deal will come in 2016 when Handler hosts Netflix's first proprietary talk show. She has already established a decent-sized following through E!'s Chelsea Lately, and now she'll give Netflix subscribers something timely to check out every week.

5. A new social discovery
Shares of MeetMe (NASDAQ:MEET) soared 23% on Wednesday after Wunderlich Securities initiated coverage with a bullish buy rating. It slapped a $4.50 price target on the social discovery specialist -- more than double the current share price.

Wunderlich is encouraged by MeetMe's prospects to grow its mobile user base and beef up its monetization efforts. In a case of welcome timing, MeetMe's chief executive officer and chief financial officer presented at the Oppenheimer Bi-Annual NY Internet Investor Day on Wednesday, too, giving the company a platform to amplify its appeal.

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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends, Baidu, Netflix, and SolarCity. The Motley Fool owns shares of, Baidu, Netflix, and SolarCity. 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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