This week's 5 smartest stock moves

Looking at the bright side of the week's news.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 4, 2011 3:53PM

If you're feeling good about the market these days, you're not alone. Follow along as long-time Fool Rick Aristotle Munarriz takes us through some of this week's more uplifting headlines.

 

Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor

 

1. The new tablet gestation period
Apple (AAPL)
spoils its gadget owners with annual product line updates. When the world's most valuable tech company set up a media event in California for Wednesday, it was a safe bet that Steve Jobs -- yes, he was there -- would be unveiling the iPad 2.

He did, but Jobs didn't point to some early April date for the launch of Apple's latest "magical" tablet. Instead of matching last year's April launch of its trendsetting iPad, the beefed up iPad 2 will hit the market a week from today -- and at the same price point.

 

Genius move, Apple.

 

Rival tablet makers that figured they would be competing against last year's iPad are now facing a spec sheet beast at a price point that's difficult to undercut.

 

2. A gutsy "thumbs-down" call
In a move that isn't as gutsy as you might think, Caris & Co.'s David Miller downgraded shares of TiVo (TIVO) just hours before its fiscal fourth-quarter report on Tuesday.

 

It proved to be the right call, given the uninspiring financials that the DVR pioneer would ultimately report, but was it really a surprise?

 

Net subscriber defections have been a quarterly occurrence for a couple of years. TiVo had also posted eight consecutive quarterly deficits heading into Tuesday night's report.

 

Miller wasn't getting in front of a freight train. He was simply getting out from under a train wreck.

 

3. She loves me Knot
The Knot (KNOT)
is buying nearly 3.7 million of its shares by cashing out minority investor Macy's (NYSE: M) at $10.26 a share.

 

Normally, a prolific investor unloading a chunky stake near a three-year high would be problematic. It would seem to be a case of extreme insider selling, especially since Macy's knows The Knot's business intimately. Its chief marketing officer sits on The Knot's board. The two companies are partners in Macy's online bridal registry.

 

However, the ability for a cash-rich The Knot to retire 10.7% of its shares outstanding without moving the market is huge. It will be accretive to earnings in the future. It will also make it that much easier for a prospective buyer to acquire The Knot with fewer shares to pay a premium on.

 

4. As the world Stern
The best thing about signing up Howard Stern for five more years back in December is that the legendary morning show host is on a promotional run for Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) now.

 

He was on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Tuesday, pitching the ability to stream Sirius and XM through smartphones. Sirius XM has been offering this for nearly two years, but Stern's two Sirius channels weren't available until this year.

 

Stern also hinted that Charlie Sheen -- who is either a brilliant party child or a runaway train -- was likely to call in to his show on Wednesday. He did, arming the media with colorful clips that will also ultimately promote satellite radio.

 

These public appearances and nabbing magnetic celebrity are huge for ambassadorial purposes. Now that Stern has been on Sirius for more than five years, it's hard to recruit new listeners who don't have access to this show. Making the rounds to reach terrestrial radio audiences is the best way to keep Sirius XM Radio growing.

 

5. Sell the Zelda
Nintendo (NTDOY)
is gearing up for the stateside release of its $250 3DS portable gaming system, but it's not coming alone.

 

Nintendo announced several nifty features that will be available. 

  • Complimentary hot spot access will be offered automatically in more than 10,000 locations.
  • Netflix (NFLX) subscribers will be able to stream from Netflix's digital library. They can even begin watching on a Wi-Fi-tethered 3DS and then switch over to a Wii at the point they left off.
  • Nintendo will offer 3-D movie trailers and other short-form videos.

Die-hard gamers will naturally gravitate to the handful of 3DS-specific titles that will be available on launch, but these video- and Web-friendly initiatives will help broaden the appeal of Nintendo's new plaything.

 

Nintendo had a rocky 2010, so let's hope that this is the first step in turning its fortunes around in 2011

 

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. Apple, Netflix, and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor choices. The Fool has written puts on and owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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