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This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves

By Rick Munarriz - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:56PM

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There's always time to look at the bright side of life.

If you're feeling down this week, take my hand as we go over some of the more uplifting headlines of the week. Yes, it wasn't all layoffs, missed earnings, and guidance knockdowns this week.

1. You don't need to Photoshop these numbers
Desktop publishing software giant Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) beat Wall Street expectations, posting fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $0.60 a share on a non-GAAP basis. The showing was better than both the $0.49 a share it earned a year ago and the $0.58 a share that analysts were looking for.

Sure, Adobe did hose down expectations two weeks earlier. The move certainly lowered the bar on expectations. However, it bears pointing out that the company not only came in at the high end of its reduced guidance, but also stuck to its earlier targets for the current quarter.

2. Disco is not dead
Backing off from at least some of last month's unpopular programming changes at Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI), the satellite radio provider is bringing back two of the music channels it killed off. The Strobe and Backspin, playing classic disco and hip-hop, respectively, will be back on the air next month.

It's not a perfect solution, especially for subscribers on the XM side who still want more than just two of the old Sirius channels back on the air. However, it's a positive sign that CEO Mel Karmazin is not ignoring the outcry from subscribers and is willing to go back on a few of the changes.

3. The ins and outs of outsourcing
Indian IT outsourcing specialist Satyam Computer Services (NYSE:SAY) skirted disaster when it announced that it would abandon plans to purchase a pair of family-owned businesses for $1.6 billion.

The problem is that these family-owned companies belong to the chairman's sons. Oh, and they have little to do with Satyam's bread-and-butter outsourcing business. How would shareholders have known whether Satyam was simply bailing out family members by sorely overpaying for these assets?

The entire episode will hurt Satyam's credibility, but at least it did the right thing in the end.

4. Yes Virginia, there is a credit clause
Who said that lending is dead? Shares of department store bellwether Macy's (NYSE:M) soared 18% on Wednesday after the retailer announced an amended $2 billion credit facility.

The move grants Macy's more financing flexibility as it heads into $950 million of debt that needs to be refinanced next year. Yes, Santa came early with his miracle on 34th Street this year.

5. Baidu misses the gold but lands the Goldman
Goldman Sachs finally warmed up to Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), upgrading the stock to a "conviction buy" for the first time since Baidu's IPO three years ago.

Goldman Sachs is clearly hoping that its "buy low" strategy works, given how badly shares of China's leading search engine have been hammered lately. There were signs that Baidu was bottoming out a week earlier, and timing is everything these days.

Baidu is making headway in cleaning up its act after a scathing expose on Baidu's iffy search practices last month. It probably didn't hurt that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) were also eventually accused of similar practices by the same investigative network. It doesn't make Baidu any more right, but it makes it unlikely to lose users over integrity issues if everyone's been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  

Ooooh, cookies.

Google and Baidu are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Satyam Computer Services is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He's the inspiration for The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" song. Hdoes 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.

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Stocks Mentioned

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Stock Quote
Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
$6.52 (-1.21%) $0.08
Macy's, Inc. Stock Quote
Macy's, Inc.
$20.43 (-3.22%) $0.68
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$119.55 (-1.77%) $-2.15
Adobe Inc. Stock Quote
Adobe Inc.
$437.82 (-2.18%) $-9.74
Baidu, Inc. Stock Quote
Baidu, Inc.
$132.64 (-2.57%) $-3.50

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

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