There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with the world’s leading maker of wearable cameras falling well short of its own guidance and a cable giant making another smart move at its theme parks division.
Comcast (CMCSK) — Winner
Comcast’s Universal Studios theme park in Florida announced a new attraction will open come 2017. “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” will replace the park’s immersive “Twister” simulation.
Theme parks announce new rides often, but this particular addition makes the cut on its synergistic merit. Comcast owns the Universal Studios theme park chain and it also owns Fallon’s late-night home of NBC. With the marketplace heating up for late-night shows, every little bit helps. Universal Studios Florida attracts millions of park guests a year, giving the new ride Comcast-friendly branding power.
General Motors (GM) — Loser
This seems to be the year of auto recalls, and this week GM asked owners of 1.4 million older vehicles worldwide to bring in their cars to repair an issue in which drops of hot oil can cause engine compartments to catch fire.
Recalls are a part of the automotive industry, but this is the fourth time that GM has had a recall for the same problem.
Microsoft (MSFT) — Winner
It’s been nearly two years since the Xbox One hit the market, but now it’s going to get a feature that it should’ve had from the beginning. Microsoft revealed that an upcoming software update will make the console backward-compatible with some Xbox 360 games.
The inability to play discs from the previous Xbox generation likely led some die-hard gamers to hold back on making the initial investment. It’s hard to buy an Xbox One when you know you can’t trade in your Xbox 360 for credit because you’ll need it to play your favorite games.
The software update isn’t perfect. Many of the bigger Xbox 360 games still won’t be compatible. It’s still a step in the right direction, and just ahead of the holiday shopping season to boot.
GoPro (GPRO) — Loser
You would think that posting quarterly results featuring a 43 percent surge in revenue to $400.3 million and adjusted earnings more than doubling to 25 cents a share would be a cause for celebration, but that didn’t happen for GoPro — and with good reason.
The leading maker of wearable camera’s earlier guidance was calling for revenue of at least $430 million and a profit of at least 29 cents a share. It’s not a good sign when you can’t live up to your own historically conservative guidance and GoPro’s guidance for the current quarter isn’t very encouraging.
Taco Bell — Winner
History books will claim that the Kansas City Royals won the first game of the World Series, but another winner was Yum Brands’ (YUM) Taco Bell. The fast-food chain teamed up with Major League Baseball for a promotion where it would reward all customers with a free A.M. Crunchwrap if someone stole a base.
Of course someone stole a base, and of course Taco Bell will now be giving away a ton of its signature breakfast wrap next Thursday. It’s a brilliant move, as Taco Bell is trying to stand out since entering the cutthroat breakfast market last year.