It was a wild week for the companies that didn't quite get it right. Let's go over five companies that just flat-out got it wrong this week.
1. Blue tights special
I don't care how talented she may be -- there's no way the market was going to respond well to lululemon athletica's (NASDAQ:LULU) latest executive. The fast-growing retailer of high-end yoga clothing tapped Tara Poseley as its new chief products office. She comes to Lululemon after heading up Kmart's apparel division.
Some analysts did vouch for Poseley's past and her potential, but the market was naturally skeptical. Kmart's a chain that's been suffering through a lost decade of cascading comps. You don't hear too many people raving about the clothes they bought at Kmart.
The market was also frustrated to find that the chain brought on a new chief products officer -- a critical post, given Lululemon's generous markups and the sheer-yoga-pants fiasco that resulted in a costly recall earlier this year -- before selecting a new CEO. The chain's CEO has been out since June, and one would think that the incoming leader would want a say in who is dictating the richly valued company's merchandising efforts.
2. Syrup slurping
Shares of SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) slipped after the company posted disappointing quarterly results. The biggest letdown in the report was that flavor unit sales rose by just 7%. Things were even worse in the U.S., where flavor bottle sales slipped by nearly 3%.
SodaStream is still growing. Revenue climbed 29% in its latest quarter, and you won't find too many beverage companies taking big steps forward like that. There's healthy growth in its start kits, so the global user base is widening. CO2 refills are selling briskly, so these small appliances aren't collecting dust. SodaStream just needs to figure out how to sell more of its flavors.
These are challenging times for Japanese gaming giant Nintendo (OTC:NTDOY). It posted another quarterly loss, and it may be curtains for Nintendo in the console wars. Despite a price cut, Nintendo sold just 300,000 Wii U systems during the period. That's not the kind of momentum it needs as it heads into a challenging November, with its two rivals putting out new consoles.
Nintendo is faring better with its handhelds, but even the company conceded that it may have to rethink its console business if its highly anticipated software releases for the Wii U don't make a difference this critical holiday-shopping season.
4. The cords keep getting cut
Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) keeps shedding cable television subscribers. Many aspects of Comcast's business are holding up well. Its Internet access, its Web-based telephone service, and even its theme parks are growing nicely. However, the business that most people associate with Comcast -- its market-leading cable TV platform -- continues to price its way out of customers.
Comcast closed out the quarter with 129,000 fewer cable television customers than when the period began. It's serving 355,000 fewer video accounts than it had a year earlier. However, its video customer revenue still inched higher as it pushed through the ever-growing rates. One would think that Comcast would make the connection between its high rates and customer defections.
5. Intel outside
Comcast shows that it's not easy running a traditional pay-TV platform. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) may be proving that it's not easy to run a Web-based alternative, either.
All Things D is hearing that Intel is looking to unload its investment in Intel Media. The Internet-based TV service was supposed to launch early next year, and Intel's been working on it for years. However, Intel was having its challenges with distribution and content -- things it should have seen coming as part of the similarly flawed Google TV project that it was a part of a few years ago.
If the report is accurate, Intel has come too far to give up -- or it should have thrown in the towel a long time ago.