Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Today's 3 Best Stocks

By Sean Williams - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:15PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

A roundup of the day's best performers within the S&P 500, and what their moves mean for investors.

Gold-maggedon has arrived! Traders were rudely awakened today to find most metals under serious pressure on the heels of Cyprus' plans to sell part of its gold bullion to cover its $13 billion bailout, and word from China that its first-quarter GDP grew by "just" 7.7%. Although that was higher than China's own projections of 7.5% GDP growth, it was a step back from the 7.9% GDP growth in the fourth-quarter and a discouraging move backward in light of China's plans to boost infrastructure spending, and thus metals usage.

Between gold's better than $200-per-ounce tumble over the past two days -- its worst percentage drop since 1980 -- and China's GDP figures, the broad-based S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.01%) endured one of its roughest days all year, tumbling 36.49 points (-2.30%) to finish at 1,552.36. Even given today's dismal metals market performance, and the fact that just seven of the 500 companies finished higher within the index, three stocks still managed to shine to the upside.

Mobile-service provider Sprint Nextel (S) was today's biggest bright spot, advancing 13.5% after DISH Network (DISH 1.32%) offered to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion. DISH plans to pay for the deal with $4.76 per share in cash and the remaining in stock worth 0.05953 shares of DISH. The final tally works out to about $7 per share and sets DISH and SoftBank, which previously bid to take a majority stake in Sprint, up for a bidding war. Sprint has yet to comment on the deal, but shareholders have to be loving this after years of disappointing results.

Life-sciences company Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) had an equally nice day, jumping 7.5% after agreeing to be purchased by Thermo Fisher Scientific for $13.6 billion. The deal works out to a $76-per-share purchase price and is probably much higher than any private-equity firm would have offered or agreed to pay for Life Technologies. If you recall, I'm a huge fan of genome analysis with regard to personalizing cancer research and treatments, so I think Thermo Fisher is getting a great deal and a big boost to its bottom line over the long run.

Finally, content-streaming king Netflix (NFLX 1.56%) rose 1.9% after an analyst at BTIG Research initiated coverage on the company with a "buy" rating and $250 price target, implying roughly 40% upside to Friday's close. The covering analyst, Rich Greenfield, expects an improved price-to-value comparison to boost Netflix's subscriber growth and reduce its churn rate. However, considering the big run it's already had, coupled with the fact that streaming margins are only half as tasty as DVD margins, I'm going to have to once again pass on the bullishness surrounding Netflix.


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,901.36 (0.01%) $0.57
Sprint Corporation Stock Quote
Sprint Corporation
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
$186.35 (1.56%) $2.87
DISH Network Corporation Stock Quote
DISH Network Corporation
$20.78 (1.32%) $0.27

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/22/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.