The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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The video service, which is reportedly up for sale, announces some key numbers.
The online video service says it's getting paid subscribers faster than it had expected and is on track to hit 1 million by the end of summer.
In a blog post this week, chief executive Jason Kilar said Hulu Plus added more subscribers in June than in April and May combined. The site now has 875,000 members paying the $8 monthly subscription fee. That fee allows users to watch a vast library of television shows on their computers, iPads, phones and other devices. (The free version of Hulu is available only via computer and doesn't have as many videos.)
Finally, Kilar said, Hulu is profitable and on track to bring in nearly $500 million in revenue this year, up from $263 million last year.
After just 3 weeks on the market, Chromebooks grab 4 of the top 17 spots on Amazon's best-seller list.
By Anton Wahlman, TheStreet
Hey, Microsoft (MSFT), if you're in the car, check the rearview mirror and move into the right lane. It looks like there is a laptop freight train called Google (GOOG) that's about to pass you in sales. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
I just checked Amazon's laptop bestseller-list, and among the top 17 best-selling models, there are four Google laptops, including the No. 2 seller. No. 1 is Apple's (AAPL) 13-inch MacBook Pro. Four out of the top 17 isn't a bad showing for Google after being on the market for only three weeks.
These Google laptops are the so-called Chromebooks, based on the Chrome OS, and they cost between $350 and $500. I have written about these devices extensively since early December 2010, including this article in March.
The stock has historically outperformed the market, but technical indicators suggest that relationship may be changing.
- See related: Trading with Starc Bands
A new fund designed to track cloud computing turns heads by including the video-streaming service as a top holding.
By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet
The launch of the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) is the latest micro-niche fund to hit the market. Some investors will scoff at the fund, some will trade it actively, and some will find genuine investment merit.
The U.S. fund will have 40 holdings, most of which are technology related, will rebalance quarterly, and will charge a 0.60% expense ratio. At the industry level, the fund is dominated by software (32% of holdings), Internet services (22%) and communications equipment (16%). One other industry in there that might be a surprise is Internet and catalog retail at 7.75%, with the largest name from that segment being Netflix (NFLX).
Netflix's inclusion means the fund provides logical access not only to companies building and servicing the cloud but also to a couple of companies using the cloud. Netflix is the largest holding in the fund, at 4.5%, and it seems like everyone has an opinion about the name. Investors who are bullish on Netflix believe the company's growth is scalable because of how good the service is, while others argue the stock should fall by pointing to valuations and increasing costs for content.
Even for less-than-bullish analysts, the automaker's stock is indisputably cheap.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
BusinessWeek and Bloomberg on Tuesday reported about the company's channel stuffing, or flooding of dealers' inventory to goose profits. Betting on a strong rally in SAAR, or the seasonally adjusted annual rate, for cars, some dealers now have excess inventory, presenting risk to GM, which may have difficulty maintaining its sales and profit levels.
For investors, or potential investors, in GM, this isn't news. Bearish traders have been touting this practice for months as a reason to avoid the stock. Along with souring economic data, channel stuffing is a relevant counterargument to the bullish case. Nevertheless, savvy investors know to build positions amid negative news flow because once it dissipates, stocks tend to rise.
The Wall Street Journal says a September release is pretty certain for a thinner, lighter model with an upgraded camera.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
It's official, iPhone fans. You will get your shot at a shiny new iPhone 5 by the end of September.
OK, well, it's not official official. Apple CEO Steve Jobs plays his cards notoriously close to his vest on product launches, and Apple hasn't formally set a date. But after a host of similar rumors swirling around tech blogs, the latest report of a September launch comes from a highly respected source, The Wall Street Journal.
To lend credibility, the Journal has based the date on supply chain interviews and managed to wrangle a few more details about the gadget out of its sources in the process.
A recent national audit of government loans might have missed a large chunk, adding to investor concerns about banks.
Dealers have several months' worth of unsold trucks. Is the automaker trying to paint a better picture?
One Atlanta dealer has more than six months' worth of Silverados on hand, a stockpile even the dealer's general manager describes as "a little scary," Bloomberg reports. In fact, GM's truck inventory has soared to 122 days' worth of average sales, compared with 79 days for Ford (F) and 78 days in past years for GM.
This dealer-stuffing could play right into GM's stock price. One analyst, Peter Nesvold of Jefferies, says the higher truck supply is ultimately pulling GM's 2012 earnings into this year.
"It's unbelievable that after this huge taxpayer bailout and the bankruptcy that we're right back to where we were," he told Bloomberg. "There's no credibility."
How to navigate among the reverse-mergers and other risky companies.
By Matt Koppenheffer
When it comes to U.S.-listed Chinese companies, the shoes are dropping faster than at a barefoot marathon for octopuses.
Last week, A-Power Energy (APWR) became the latest Chinese small cap to be halted. That came after the company's auditor and two independent directors resigned. The auditor had flagged certain transactions at the company for further investigation and told A-Power to talk to the hand when it didn't take any steps to investigate those deals.
Meanwhile, AutoChina endured a beating Friday after the company revealed it will be restating past financial statements and is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former may not be much to freak out about -- it's the accounting for an earn-out agreement with management -- but it's hard not to be concerned about an SEC investigation.
A former broker shares an 11-point checklist.
But former stockbroker Kevin Matras says his checklist works. Matras, a contributing editor at Zacks Investment Research, shares his strategy in the following video. Before he buys a stock, he says, he puts it up against this basic set of building blocks. If a stock passes, he says, it has a high probability of success.
By the way, five stocks currently sail through his checklist. I'll go through those stocks after the following video.
Post continues below:
The nation is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions.
China is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions — loans grew by more than 30% a year over the past few years — and inflation is rising fast. Inflation in developed countries is unpleasant, but it is tolerable. For a developing country — China, despite its size, is still a developing country — it can be catastrophic. In developed countries, we spend two or three times less on food as a percentage of our income as do people in developing countries. Therefore, though food inflation is unpleasant, we have a much greater tolerance (margin of safety) for it. While food inflation the US can mean fewer trips to restaurants or no summer vacation, food inflation in China leads to hunger.
Here's the skinny on the video game company as it prepares to go public.
By Eric Jackson, TheStreet
Overall, most folks in the press have described the company positively because it appears to be making money compared with Groupon.
The company does have a number of strengths, but the general view of the business press is badly misinformed because of a lack of familiarity with the gaming sector.
Here are some myths and truths about Zynga:
There is substantial upside potential in minerals, and risk-controlled entry points are evident for 3 leading producers.
A growing number of financial advisers prefer to blend active and passive strategies.
By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet
Financial advisers argue endlessly about whether index funds are superior to actively managed portfolios. Some advisers use index funds exclusively, while others believe they can outdo the benchmarks with actively managed funds. But a growing number are taking a hybrid approach, mixing actively managed funds with passive ETFs and index funds.
"It is rare for us to see an adviser who puts everything in one kind of investment," says Sue Thompson, the managing director of BlackRock, which operates the iShares family of ETFs.
Thompson says some advisers start with a core of ETFs, then buy a few actively managed funds to add spice or reach asset classes that are not well served by ETFs. Other advisers start with a core of active funds and add ETFs on the margins.
JPMorgan Chase and IBM, among others, tend to advance after reporting second-quarter results.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicks off the earnings reporting season July 11 after the stock market's closing bell. The aluminum producer's stock doesn't fare well after reporting second-quarter numbers, falling an average of 0.7% the following day, according to data collected over the past 10 years.
Disney, Microsoft and Exxon Mobil (XOM) typically fall an average of 2% in the trading session after the companies report financial results for the second quarter. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
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The stock price falls 11% in midday trading after the struggling company gives a weak forecast.
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[BRIEFING.COM] At midday, the major averages hover near their lows. The S&P 500 trades down 0.4% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average underperforms with a loss of 0.7%.
The price-weighted Dow lags as 26 of its 30 components register losses. The largest index member, Visa (V 202.76, -2.90), trades lower by 1.4%, contributing to the weakness. On a related note, the technology sector (-0.6%) is the weakest cyclical group, which is pressuring the broader market. ... More
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