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. That's 35 million listeners to you
We should probably stop limiting our count of the Sirius XM Radio
Issuing the release yesterday was a no-brainer move for Sirius XM. It also highlighted the attractiveness of its audience, by pointing out that 24% of its listeners have household incomes greater than $150,000, compared with just a 9% sliver for AM/FM listeners.
Drawing sponsors has been a surprising Sirius XM weakness, given its CEO's terrestrial-radio pedigree. Net advertising revenue at the company through the first nine months of 2009 fell by 31%. Sure, Sirius XM is appreciated primarily for its commercial-free music programming, but it also has plenty of ad-backed talk content as well. If anything, this Arbitron study should open the eyes -- and pocketbooks -- of potential marketers looking to reach audiences with disposable income to spend.
2. Chip off the old Chipotle
Just because Chipotle Mexican Grill
However, the company also shared a few growth initiatives during this week's Cowen and Company Consumer Conference. For starters, it's scouting for overseas locations in France and Germany. It's been impressed by its first international opening in Toronto, and it's readying its first London store for an April opening.
Chipotle is also testing a prototype restaurant with a smaller kitchen. Shaving its kitchen size by 25% results in $25,000 in initial development savings and lower energy costs after that. The slightly smaller footprint will allow Chipotle to penetrate more deeply into markets, while still maintaining its envy-of-the-industry cash-on-cash returns of 35% a year on its development costs.
3. And Wii makes three
It was only natural to see Netflix go with the Xbox first in the fall of 2008, since Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sits on Microsoft's
Online streaming for Netflix subscribers on Sony's
It's fair to say that Nintendo's (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) Wii isn't targeted to celluloid buffs. It's the only gaming console that doesn't play DVDs. However, the Wii has been portrayed as being more friendly across generations, with its family-friendly diversions for young gamers and its workout systems for parents and grandparents. Enhancing the value of the Wii to Netflix subscribers is a big win.
4. Let's have some fund
Stocks and bonds don't go up every week. But mutual funds have a pretty impressive streak going on, in terms of which way the investments and redemptions are flowing. According to the Investment Company Institute, long-term mutual funds have experienced 43 consecutive weeks of net inflows.
A total of $427 billion in inflows has taken place during the streak. Pair that up with asset-boosting returns on most funds last year, and you have a welcome one-two punch for an industry that relies on management fees based on asset bases. If you've ever wanted to own stock in any of the handful of publicly traded mutual-fund families, the climate couldn't get any better if the valuations are fair.
5. Banking on Google bites back
IT-outsourcing specialist Infosys
Companies top the pros all the time, but Infosys is an India-based call-center operator, primarily for financial-services institutions. Wasn't this sector in the tank? The clincher is that Infosys crushed Wall Street profit targets during each and every 2009 quarter.
I guess outsourcing is in.
Netflix and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call strategy on Microsoft, which is also a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation and a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He owns shares of Netflix and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.