This Week's Winners and Losers: Monster Deals, Cisco Reels

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Monster Beverage Corp. Products Ahead Of Earns
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There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a fast food chain's attempt to offer healthier fare falling short and the world's largest networking equipment company letting pink slips fly. Here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders.

Satisfries -- Loser

Burger King Worldwide (BKW) is giving up on trying to woo calorie counters. The burger chain is discontinuing Satisfies -- the crinkle-cut fries that contain 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than McDonald's (MCD) signature spud sticks -- at most restaurants.

Some franchisees will keep offering Satisfries, but the item didn't stick on its menu for much more than a year. Burger King claims that the item didn't sell well despite clearing roughly 100 million orders for the slightly less unhealthy fries. One can argue that Satisfries were doomed because of Burger King chose to charge more for an order than its traditional fries. Fast food joints are magnetic to folks looking to save money. Plus Burger King isn't a big draw to folks on a diet despite following rivals into salads.

Monster Beverage (MNST) -- Winner

Coca-Cola (KO) has struggled to make a dent in the energy drink market dominated by Red Bull and Monster, so it's betting on a winner. Coca-Cola is investing $2.15 billion to buy a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage.

It's a smart move for Coca-Cola as it continues to diversify from carbonated drinks that have fallen out of favor with consumers. However, it's a bigger deal for Monster Beverage. The stock jumped on the news, and rightfully so. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) has soared since Coca-Cola made a similar investment earlier this year.

Cisco (CSCO) -- Loser

It's another round of pink slips at Cisco. The networking gear giant announced that it that it will be dismissing 6,000 workers or 8 percent of its staff. It's a big number, but the market shouldn't be surprised. This is the fourth summer in a row that it has announced layoffs.

Cisco has seen better days. It was the country's most valuable company for a little while at the peak of the dot-com boom. It's been harder to find growth on this end of the dot-com bubble as failed acquisitions and competitive challenges have weighed on results. If these summer layoffs continue, it won't be long before employee morale is a bigger concern than opportunities for growth.

MannKind (MNKD) -- Winner

MannKind has a game-changing drug on its hands, and now it has a financially strong partner to help market it. Afrezza -- an inhaled insulin that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this summer -- could be a godsend to folks with diabetes who are weary of needle pricks. Now MannKind is teaming up with Sanofi (SNY) to help get it to market in time for next year's launch.

MannKind isn't flush with cash or seasoned with experience, and that's why many upstart biotechs and drug makers team up with larger partners. Some of the warnings associated with Afrezza could have scared off potential partners, but the far-reaching potential of Afrezza was too tempting for Sanofi to pass up here.

SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) -- Loser

It's been a great summer for theme park operators, unless you happen to be SeaWorld. Shares of the company behind the namesake marine life attractions, Busch Gardens and a few water parks plunged after posting disappointing quarterly results.

Revenue fell when analysts were holding out for growth. With the Easter holiday and good weather in its favor, it seemed as if this would be a rare winning quarter for SeaWorld. It wasn't. SeaWorld can't seem to shake the negative consumer sentiment that has been brewing since last summer's release of the "Blackfish" documentary that takes the park to task for having orcas in captivity.

It's not just the seasonally potent summer quarter that's not working out for SeaWorld. It's hosing down its guidance for the entire year.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Keurig Green Mountain. The Motley Fool recommends Burger King Worldwide, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Keurig Green Mountain, McDonald's and Monster Beverage. The Motley Fool owns shares of Monster Beverage and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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