Money Matters - Simplified

This Week's 5 Smartest Stock Moves


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. Field of streams
The Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) digital library continues to thicken. The movie rental service struck a multiyear licensing deal with Epix, the premium digital television upstart formed by three major movie studios.

Netflix will have to wait 90 days after the retail release of Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate films before offering them to its subscribers on unlimited streaming plans, but it'll be worth it.

The knock that Netflix's streaming service offers just dated titles or obscure indies will hold less weight. This will help Netflix build on its base of 15 million subscribers, while keeping churn in check as existing members embrace the growing value of their monthly plans.

2. These pictures are out of this world
The eyes in the sky have it. Shares of DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) and GeoEye (Nasdaq:GEOY) soared 13% and 23%, respectively, on Monday. The two companies were awarded satellite imagery contracts from the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency valued in the billions of dollars.

Living in deficit-saddled times, it's easy for investors to be weary of companies that live and die on government contracts. Spending in general will likely face cutbacks. However, satellite imagery is an important spending component of defense intelligence that can't be compromised.

3. Mountain climbing
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
' (Nasdaq: GMCR) caffeinated aroma is seeping into European nostrils. Italy coffee giant Luigi Lavazza is investing $250 million in the company behind the fast-growing Keurig single-cup brewers. Lavazza will receive a 7% stake and can eventually more than double that stake.

The two companies will also come together to develop a single-serving espresso machine, but it won't hit the North American market until 2013 at the earliest.

The move will naturally increase the number of shares outstanding at Green Mountain, but it will also arm the java junkie with $250 million in cash that it can use to either shore up its balance sheet or continue to buy many of its premium coffee K-Cup partners.

4. Buffing up the video buffering
Akamai
 (Nasdaq: AKAM) has another heavy streamer turning to the leading content-delivery network to help ease up its online traffic bottlenecks. Video syndicator Brightcove is forming a global alliance with Akamai,

This is a nonexclusive deal, so Brightcove partner Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW) isn't being shut out of the party entirely. However, this will be a great way for Akamai to put its server farms to good use -- while also having a chance to impress Brightcove's media mogul content creators.

5. Brave little toaster pastries
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

Cereal giant Kellogg (NYSE: K) is taking its Pop-Tarts juggernaut to New York City, with Tuesday's debut of Pop-Tarts World in the heart of Times Square.

Is it hokey? You bet. The marquee draw is a cafe that serves up some questionable eats including peanut butter-coated celery sticks topped with grape Pop-Tarts and a sweet tooth's sushi that consists of minced-up pieces of the signature toaster pastry that are wrapped up in a fruit roll.

However, this is Times Square. Tourists from all over the planet walk the heavily trafficked intersection. Even if Kellogg doesn't sell too many silk-screened T-shirts or customized Pop-Tarts boxes, the storefront will be an effective marketing tool for the brand that is having a pop cultural renaissance as its Facebook fan page approaches 2 million supporters.

This move is as big a promotional maneuver as it is financial endeavor. Rent for the modest 3,200-square-foot shop can't be cheap in Times Square, but it will pay off nicely in terms of exposure.

The eclectic cafe menu only adds to the media magnetic charm.

© 2010 UCLICK L.L.C