Week's Winners and Losers: Delivery Sizzles, Deals Fizzle

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Earns Amazon
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There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a few potential mergers coming undone and a maker of electronic learning toys getting schooled. Here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders.

Trex (TREX) -- Winner

It's summer, and apparently a lot of homeowners decided to invest in sprucing up their outdoor living space. Trex posted strong quarterly results on Monday. The leading maker of weather-resistant wood-alternative decking saw its sales climb 23 percent, and adjusted pre-tax earnings soared 62 percent.

There was some weakness earlier this earnings season out of other home improvement specialists, so it's a welcome surprise to see Trex holding up so well. The good news doesn't end there. Trex is eyeing accelerating growth, calling for revenue to climb a better than expected 27 percent in the current quarter.

Mergers -- Loser

In any week there seems to be a couple of acquisitions or mergers, but sometimes Cupid isn't feeling up to the arrow-slinging task. A couple of big potential buyouts came undone this week when Rupert Murdoch pulled his offer to buy out Time Warner (TWX), and Sprint (S) nixed plans to snap up T-Mobile (TMUS).

The deals fell apart for different reasons. Murdoch just didn't have an interest in chasing Time Warner's stock higher in a hostile buyout bid. Sprint realized that regulators weren't going to be happy unless there were four major independent wireless carriers out there.

Instant Gratification -- Winner

Amazon.com (AMZN) announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its same-day delivery service to six more cities. Prime shoppers in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metro areas will now be able to place an order on the website by noon and pay $5.99 to have it delivered that same day.

Naturally the selection is limited to items that Amazon stocks locally, but the one knock on Amazon about having to wait a day or two at least for shipments to arrive is starting to go away. Google (GOOG) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) teamed up to offer same-day book deliveries in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

LeapFrog Enterprises (LF) -- Loser

It's not easy selling tablets these days, but it's even harder to do that in the toddler education market. LeapFrog Enterprises saw its stock tumble after posting brutal quarterly results. Sales plunged 43 percent, as its LeapPad learning tablet and other electronic learning toys failed to gain traction.

LeapFrog was a market darling in 2011 when it introduced the kid-friendly LeapPad Explorer tablet. It sold out ahead of the holiday season, sending parents scrambling to get the hot toy of the season. Three generations of the tablet later, we're seeing LeapFrog struggling to stand out in a world where traditional Android tablets have fallen sharply in price.

Jack in the Box (JACK) -- Winner

Flipping burgers may seem like a dangerous niche for investors, but let's not assume that all of the fast food chains are faring as poorly as market leader McDonald's (MCD) these days. Jack in the Box shares moved higher on Thursday after posting better than expected results.

Jack in the Box also posted a healthy increase in comparable-restaurant sales, a metric that's been negative for McDonald's lately, and the company boosted its earnings guidance for the entire year. Let's not paint the burger joints with the same broad strokes. Some of them are paying off for hungry investors.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Google (C shares), LeapFrog Enterprises, McDonald's and Trex. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Google (C shares), LeapFrog Enterprises and Trex. Try any Motley Fool newsletter services free for 30 days.

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CLINT MCCROSON

your new change of how you present stock info stinks.

August 09 2014 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply