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This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

By Rick Munarriz – Mar 14, 2014 at 5:17PM

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These five companies got it right.

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. Calling your shots 
Things continue to brighten for Novavax (NVAX 4.86%). The vaccine developer posted a narrower loss than Wall Street had expected for the first time in more than a year.

Novavax also offered up encouraging news for its pipeline of vaccines in development. Ladenburg Thalmann is dramatically boosting its price target on the shares -- from $4 to $10 -- encouraged by Novavax's balance sheet and its ability to raise capital given its buoyant share price. The stock more than doubled last year, and it's been moving nicely higher so far in 2014.

The increased financial stability is important, as Ladenburg Thalmann sees more potential to hit the market without having to partner with larger players for stateside distribution.

2. Green no longer goes first
It's time to bury the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters moniker. The java heavy is now called Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR.DL). Monday's announcement isn't really a surprise. The leading player in single-serve coffee made its intentions clear earlier this year, and shareholders approved the new name during last week's annual shareholder meeting. 

It's a smart move. Most investors may have already associated Green Mountain with the Keurig platform that makes up the lion's share of its business, but it will become even more important in the future. Keurig Green Mountain will be rolling out Keurig 2.0 later this year, a new platform that will offer customizable portions including a new patent-protected carafe K-Cup portion pack. In its next fiscal year, we'll see Keurig Cold, the ballyhooed entry into cold and carbonated beverages that even has the world's largest soft-drink company on board as an investor and long-term partner. 

Now let's see what we can do about changing that ticker symbol.

3. Prime of your life (AMZN -0.59%) hinted at an increase to its annual Amazon Prime memberships at its most recent earnings call, and now it's coming through with a hike at the low end of its initial range.

Prime -- a loyalty shopping club that includes two-day shipping of Amazon-stocked goods at no additional costs as well as monthly Kindle e-book rentals and access to a growing catalog of streaming videos -- will be going up by $20 to $99 a year for customers. The Amazon Student version for college students is going up by $10 to $49 a year. 

It's a good move by Amazon since it hasn't boosted its Prime rate since introducing the program nine years ago. The only thing that could've made things better was if it coincided the announcement with the rollout of its streaming music service, but this may suggest that the rumored service isn't as close as we think.

4. Disney finds a new Dreamfinder
Disney's (DIS -1.83%) been able to milk its theme park attractions into magnetic entertainment properties, led by its move to turn its popular Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride into a theatrical franchise that spawned several blockbusters.

Now it's turning to its Marvel comic book arm to breathe new life into the Dreamfinder and Figment characters from the old Journey Into Imagination attraction at Florida's Epcot. Marvel will roll out a five-issue series that will explore the origin of the two characters. Figment remains a fixture at the park, but Dreamfinder hasn't been as prolific. It's still a comic book series that will appeal to Disney World purists.

5. Things ad up for Facebook 
Video ads are finally coming to Facebook (META 0.85%). The leading social-networking website operator revealed on Thursday that's its introducing Premium Video Ads with a select group of advertisers.

Video ads on Facebook have been inevitable for some time, and it's worth noting that initial fears that the clips would begin to play automatically with sound were unfounded. The 15-second clips will play when they're on the screen and stop if a user scrolls past them. Tapping the video expands it into a full-screen commercial with audio. 

There will naturally be some criticism from vocal users. Folks always seem to complain whenever Facebook institutes a new look or rolls out a new form of monetization. However, Facebook's growing user base and even faster-growing revenue prove that Facebook's working.

Rick Munarriz owns shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. It recommends and owns shares of, Facebook, and Walt Disney. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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