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This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

Rick Aristotle Munarriz
October 8, 2010

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. You've got "Welcome"
(NYSE: AOL  ) may be more valuable than you think.

The dot-com legend is jumping into the Groupon game, repositioning its domain as a hub for daily deals instead of a gathering place for World of Warcraft addicts.

Serving up daily deals with a localized bent has helped propel Groupon to a value of roughly $1.4 billion, based on its latest round of venture-capital financing. Launching a clone doesn't automatically tack on that kind of value, but keep in mind that AOL's enterprise value clocks in at a mere $2.3 billion.

Success with can go a long way for shareholders. AOL may have its shortcomings, but its ability to reach a wide audience and years of selling targeted ads against its page views will serve it well in this "coming soon" venture.

2. Sirius gains
Shares of Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) hit a two-year high this week, fueled by last Friday's revised subscriber target. The satellite-radio provider now expects to close out the year with 20.1 million subscribers, well ahead of its earlier goal of 19.9 million accounts.

Lazard analyst Barton Crockett had no choice but to follow suit this week, bumping his own year-end estimate higher by 220,000 subscribers.

Crocket is reiterating his "buy" rating, naturally. The share price continues to inch higher, but the fundamentals are also jogging right along.

3. Zoom in on this
Plenty of retailers have been posting encouraging sales for the month of September, but Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ  ) deserves an extra heaping of praise.

The extreme sports apparel chain's sales spiked 23% during the five previous weeks, fueled by a 17% gain in store-level comps.

You can't judge a retailer by its comps. A chain can boost its sales by marking down its wares and making it up in volume -- killing profit margins along the way -- but that's not what's happening here at all. Zumiez notes that both sales and product margins clocked in better than expected during the month, forcing the company to revise its quarterly outlook.

Zumiez now expects its earnings per share to come in between $0.28 and $0.30 for its fiscal quarter that ends this month -- $0.03 a share higher than its earlier guidance.

4. NCR kicks kiosks into high gear
After watching Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) and Redbox broker deals with studios resulting in cheaper DVD prices in exchange for holding back on new releases for four weeks, NCR (NYSE: NCR