There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a struggling music app getting a boost from a record-breaking album and another cult fave experiencing an E. coli scare.
Pandora (P) — Winner
Adele’s “25” is a hit, and unlike streaming music rivals Spotify or Apple’s (AAPL) new Apple Music, all of the tracks of the record-breaking album are available on Pandora. It’s a big score for Pandora, and it can certainly use it. Its stock has shed two-thirds of its value since hitting an all-time high early last year.
It’s not a perfect situation. The reason that Adele’s available on Pandora is because the app doesn’t let listeners select the actual songs that they want to hear. It’s a music-discovery site that delivers customized playlists. However, with Adele’s album shattering the record for its first week of sales, it’s not going to hurt to draw attention to Pandora’s platform at a time when usage has stalled.
GameStop (GME) — Loser
We’re not playing video games the way we used to, and GameStop is feeling the pinch. The leading video game retailer took a hit after posting sales, earnings, and comparable-store sales that all fell in its latest quarter when pitted against the same pre-holiday quarter a year earlier.
This wouldn’t be such a big deal — many retailers are struggling these days — but GameStop was forecasting positive comps for the quarter just three months ago. New software and hardware sales continue to eat away at growth in the sale of collectible items and pre-owned games and gear.
Disney (DIS) — Winner
Disney-Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” hit theaters on Wednesday. Movie critics have given mixed reviews on the computer-rendered movie, something that doesn’t happen often when Pixar is telling the story.
However, there’s no point in denying the property’s fate. It will be a big box office winner. It has dinosaurs. It’s Disney-Pixar. It came out on Thanksgiving Eve, likely making the most of the extended holiday break that drives a family to the corner multiplex.
Costco (COST) — Loser
It’s not just Chipotle (CMG) dealing with an E. coli scare. Costco came under fire on accusations that its chicken salad may have disseminated the bacteria that causes an unpleasant gastrointestinal disease.
There aren’t many cases that have been announced so far, but burned Chipotle investors over the past few weeks will be the first to tell Costco shareholders that it’s not over until it’s over.
Holiday Travelers — Winners
Thanksgiving finds many people hitting the road to visit family members, and it should be cheaper than usual this year with less pain at the pump. Gasoline prices over the holidays haven’t been this low on Thanksgiving since 2008, and that will come as a welcome surprise to the 42 million drivers that AAA sees on the road this holiday weekend.
It’s not just drivers that will be grateful. Jet fuel is also cheap, and that’s factored into lower airfares than in previous holiday travel seasons.