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Week's Winners and Losers: Apple Shines, McDonald's Declines


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Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

There were plenty of winners and losers this week, with a consumer electronics retailer threatening to file for bankruptcy and the only satellite radio player in town boosting its subscriber guidance. Here's a rundown of the week's smartest moves and biggest blunders.

RadioShack (RSH) -- Loser

Things are starting to get dicey at RadioShack. The small-box retailer of mobile phones and other consumer electronic products warned that it could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if it isn't able to round up some more cash.

RadioShack is weighing several options with third parties and stakeholders that include new investments, a restructuring or an outright sale of the chain. It's not a good place to be, especially since smoking out a buyer willing to pay a premium for the retailer at this point will be a colossal challenge. RadioShack needs more than just time and money to return to profitability.

Apple (AAPL) -- Winner

There were plenty of things that went wrong at Apple's iPhone unveiling. There were streaming issues for those viewing remotely. There wasn't availability information for the Apple Watch. U2's plan to release its new album to all iTunes owners for free backfired when many complained about not being able to easily get rid of the music.

However, Apple still deserves to be a winner this week because it did live up to expectations of introducing two iPhone models that will be available next week, debunking the chatter that the larger iPhone 6 Plus wouldn't be ready to hit the market until several months later.

DiGiorno Pizza -- Loser

There seems to be a corporate giant making a social media blunder every week, and this time it was Nestle's (NSRGY) DiGiorno Pizza. The #WhyIStayed hashtag started trending when Twitter users began posting stories of domestic violence in light of the Ray Rice and Janay Palmer elevator video that went viral.

The frozen pizza distributor tweeted "You had pizza" alongside the hashtag. It quickly realized its insensitive mistake, apologizing about not reading what the hashtag was about before posting. It was a quick recovery, but it's still a blunder.

Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) -- Winner

Premium radio is alive and well. Sirius XM boosted its subscriber target for all of 2014. The satellite radio provider now expects to close out the year with 1.45 million more subscribers than it had at the beginning, up from its earlier outlook calling for 1.25 million net additions.

Sirius XM had already grown its audience by 742,271 subscribers during the first six months of the year, so an upward adjustment isn't really a surprise. Sirius XM credits strong auto sales this summer for the improved outlook for the balance of the year.

McDonald's (MCD) -- Loser

Things aren't getting any better at McDonald's. The country's leading burger chain posted another month of fading store traffic. McDonald's saw comparable sales worldwide slide 3.7 percent in August, held back by a supplier scare in China and regulator-ordered closings in Russia.

Things weren't all that better closer to home, where comparable sales declined 2.8 percent. McDonald's has now posted negative year-over-year comparable sales in nine of the past 10 months. A turnaround doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Sirius XM Radio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. For some winning dividend stock ideas, check out our free report.


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