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. Turning nickels into $2 bills
Sirius XM Radio
Two years ago, shares of Sirius XM traded as low as $0.05 a share. If Morgan Stanley's assessment holds up, it'll soon be a 40-bagger for the bottom feeders. Then again, it's not just the stock that's come a long way. Sirius XM was losing money, shedding subscribers, and on the brink of bankruptcy when its stock could be a had for a nickel. It's none of those three things now.
2. Guidance you can love
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
I'm not trying to take anything away from the holiday quarter racked up by the java junkie behind the Keurig single-cup brewers. You must be doing something right if you grow net sales by 67% and adjusted net income climbs even faster. However, Green Mountain was being held back by investor uncertainty about the future, and that's where its guidance served to perk up the market.
Net sales for the fiscal year ending this September should be up 75% to 80%, indicating that the final three quarters of the fiscal year will treat shareowners to accelerating growth. It's also reiterating non-GAAP earnings to clock in between $1.19 and $1.29 a share. Compare that to the $1.16-a-share profit on 57% top-line growth that analysts were expecting to get, and it's easy to see why Green Mountain is a speedster again.
3. The daily shows
The first legitimate shot for tablet computers to replace the printing press hit Apple's
Rupert Murdoch's media empire is hoping that cranking out 100 pages of original digital content 365 days a year -- and charging iPad owners just $0.99 a week or $39.99 a year -- will help sway tech-savvy newshounds into embracing a premium digital subscription.
News Corp. claims the publication's operating costs will run at roughly $500,000 a week. Once you bake in the 30% revenue-share slice that app publishers must relinquish to Apple, The Daily will need to reach 5% of the roughly 15 million iPad owners.
OK, the promising e-publication is presently limited to readers in the United States and Canada, so it's not fair to use Apple's global iPad base. Then again, Apple's selling more than a million iPads a month. The user base will only continue to grow.
I was initially skeptical of Murdoch's strategy, but the price is right. Original content, exclusive video, user-customized sports, and even crossword and Sudoku diversions make this a pretty compelling value. It can be a real game changer for News Corp. and a great differentiator for Apple's iPad before other tablets offer a more cost-effective route for publishers.
This is a pretty meaty milestone for a country with just 4.5 million homes, verifying claims by the Israeli-based SodaStream that it had penetrated 20% of the Swedish market last year.
Obviously, it would be a jaw dropper if SodaStream's penetration got anywhere close to that rate on this side of the Atlantic. It wouldn't just be the more than 25 million carbonation systems but the repeat purchases of CO2 carbonators and soda syrup bottles. I probably also wouldn't be going out on a limb if I suggested that we drink more soda in this country per capita than the rest of the world.
I guess we'll soon find out. SodaStream didn't make a big stateside push until last year, and we still don't know how the telltale holiday quarter panned out. Still, global validation will do for a stock that has now more than doubled since going public just three months ago.
5. Searching is rewarding in China
Another stock rocketing to fresh highs this week was Baidu
Baidu's quarterly revenue climbed 94% to $371.3 million with earnings soaring 171% to $0.50 a share. Analysts weren't even close -- expecting a profit of $0.46 on $360.8 million in revenue -- but they've been missing badly on Baidu for years.
China's search industry is for real, and you don't have to take only Baidu's word for it. Sohu.com