There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the leading premium video service proving ridiculously magnetic and a one-iconic doll continuing to fade in popularity.
Travelzoo (TZOO) — Loser
There was a time when Travelzoo’s Top 20 weekly email blasts were a viral sensation for deal seekers looking for bargains on last-minute getaways, but the online travel deals publisher has been struggling lately. The stock took a beating Thursday after posting disappointing financial results, shedding nearly a fifth of its value.
Revenue and earnings clocked in lower than during the prior year’s quarter. The number of folks who have opted in to receive Travelzoo’s deals has inched slightly higher over the past year to 24.8 million, but the fact that it’s generating a lot less revenue per member is problematic.
Netflix (NFLX) — Winner
Shares of Netflix hit yet another all-time high after the company split its shares and announced another blowout quarterly report. The leading premium video streaming service closed out the June quarter with nearly 3.3 million more streaming subscribers than it had at the end of June.
Most of Netflix’s growth is coming overseas. It tacked on 900,000 domestic streaming subscribers during the period but a hearty 2.37 million internationally. This adds up to a lot more than the 2.5 million total net streaming subscribers that Netflix was forecasting. Profit margins continue to widen domestically, and its international operations are now two years away from profitability. Wall Street liked what it saw, with at least three analysts boosting their price targets on the stock.
Adobe (ADBE) — Loser
Folks using Chrome or Firefox browsers began getting notices that Adobe’s once-iconic Flash Player was being blocked as a plug-in due to security concerns. Reports indicated that running the plug-in made users susceptible to hackers.
Flash was once the multimedia platform of choice, but it’s been starting to lose support in favor of HTML5. Obviously this isn’t a good sign for Flash, and it might also come to burn Chrome and Firefox if users tired of the pop-up warnings on every page containing Flash and chose a different browser.
Amazon.com (AMZN) — Winner
The leading online retailer hosted Amazon Prime Day on Wednesday, promising more deals than Black Friday as a way to celebrate the success of its Prime loyalty shopping offering. Initial reactions were mixed, with some customers hoping for better deals. However, at the end of the day it was a monster success.
Amazon revealed the next day that orders were 18 percent higher than November’s Black Friday holiday shopping frenzy. Customers were ordering 398 items a second, on average. Amazon shares responded, hitting another all-time high.
Barbie — Loser
Young girls are putting away their Barbie dolls. Mattel (MAT) posted another problematic quarter. Reported sales declined relative to the prior year’s period, making this the seventh quarter in a row of year-over-year drops.
The results are kinder if you adjust for the currency discrepancies given the strong dollar, but let’s talk Barbie. Worldwide gross sales of the Barbie brand posted an 11 percent year-over-year plunge for the quarter on a constant currency basis. Mattel is placing a big bet on an interactive talking Barbie that’s coming out later this year. Let’s hope it can say more than, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”