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. Fantastic Vonage
The provider of web-tethered phone service delivered better than expected quarterly results on Tuesday and its first quarter of net subscriber growth in more than two years.
Vonage's adjusted profit of $0.06 a share was well ahead of both the $0.03 a share it earned a year ago and the $0.04 a share that analysts were expecting. However, it's the addition of 6,000 more accounts during the quarter that really got the shares moving.
It had been a forgone conclusion that landline customers -- even those on cheaper Internet-based plans -- were a dying breed. Folks are ditching their house phones and settling for their cell phones. The Vonage reversal is noteworthy. Is it a blip, or is it a matter of shrewd marketing and healthy customer satisfaction? The next few quarters will tell the tale, but it's looking good so far.
2. Weight Watchers goes binging
Shares of Weight Watchers
Revenue climbed 15.6% on a 13% surge in global paid weeks. Adjusted earnings inched 9% higher. This may not seem like much, but analysts were expecting profitability to decline on a mere 3% top-line gain.
I heard one business news source, which I won't mention, speculate that the strong showing was the result of folks following through with their New Year's resolutions, but that fails on two fronts:
- Weight Watchers' quarter ended on Jan. 1, so this doesn't include the January traffic.
- Even if it did include January, we're still talking about a year-over-year comparison. The improvement is real, not seasonal.
3. Sympathy plays for the devil
You have to feel sorry for ReachLocal
The shortfall came on the same day that online advertising peer ValueClick
ValueClick's come a long way since it was being investigated by the FTC over deceptive marketing practices. The display-advertising specialist has cleaned up nicely, and its shares have nearly doubled over the past year.
4. Tegra the tiger is grrrrr-eat
The graphics chip pioneer earned $0.23 a share in its latest quarter, easily cruising past the pros perched at $0.16 a share.
There was a time when investors were concerned about what NVIDIA's role would be as its bread-and-butter PC business gave way to smaller computing gadgetry. However, NVIDIA's Tegra processors have proven popular in new and upcoming smartphones and tablets.
NVIDIA changed with the times. Shareholders have been rewarded with a stock that has nearly tripled since this past summer's dip into the single digits.
5. Big G hooks old media
A day later, Google
A good deal isn't enough by itself. Apple's family of iOS products that feed at its App Store trough can't be ignored. However, Google stepping up as a single-login solution across several devices and all participating publishers will give publishers every incentive to promote One Pass over their iOS presence. Who knows? We may soon find old media companies willing to partly subsidize Android tablet purchases in exchange for long-term digital subscriptions.
It can happen.
ValueClick is a Motley Fool Big Short short-sale pick. Google and Weight Watchers International are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google and ReachLocal are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Apple and NVIDIA are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. 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.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick 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.