Now more than ever, there's never a dull moment on Wall Street. Let's review some of next week's biggest upcoming events.
1. TiVo this for me on Tuesday: TiVo may be a household word, but it's not very popular as a household gadget. TiVo (TIVO) had less than 2 million subscribers by the end of April, 22% fewer owners than it served a year earlier. A lot of people may own digital video recorders -- and some may even mistakenly refer to their home theater boxes as TiVo -- but the company needs to do a better job of regaining its former glory.
Against this backdrop, TiVo will post its quarterly results on Wednesday. Will subscriber defections continue? Probably. Will TiVo post a wider deficit? Analysts seem to think so. However, TiVo has been pretty good about enforcing its valuable patents lately. There's more to assessing TiVo's prospects than just counting its subscribers, though it would be refreshing to see that number bottom out sooner, rather than later.
2. Late-summer retail smorgasbord: Mid-August is a busy time for retailers posting their latest financials. Unlike most companies, which tend to line up their fiscal years with calendar quarters, retailers like to end their fiscal years by the end of January, to make sure that they fully account for the telltale holiday shopping season.
Since the vast majority of retailers work on fiscal years that begin in February, their second quarter concluded around the end of July. Give the bean counters a couple of weeks to line up all of the numbers, and mid-August becomes a bonanza of retail reports.
Some of the chains reporting next week include American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), bebe stores (BEBE), rue21 (RUE), and Payless ShoeSource parent Collective Brands (PSS).
3. Step into the real estate ring: One of the country's most respected real estate developers -- Toll Brothers (TOL), which reports on Wednesday -- will have a tough time besting last year's quarterly results, which it booked just as homebuyer tax credits were drying up. The homebuilders that have already reported in recent weeks have generally posted disappointing comparisons. At least analysts expect Toll to remain profitable.
When will the market bottom out? When will the glut of existing homes dry up? And when will buyers once again get comfortable laying down hefty deposits for newly constructed homesteads? Those are the real questions.
4. Thinking outside of Pandora's box: One of the more enigmatic recent IPOs -- Pandora Media (P) -- delivers its first quarterly report as a public company on Thursday. The company behind the popular music-streaming site went public at $16 in June, trading as high as $26 on its first day of trading. It's endured a gradual fadeout ever since.
Pandora closed in the pre-teens yesterday, shedding more than half of its peak value. These initial earnings arrive at a truly lousy time, since the market has been a stinker in recent weeks. However, Pandora hasn't done itself any favors with its inability to establish a clear path to profitability. Its first quarterly report should feature a small deficit. Investors may decide to tune that out if Pandora's growth is off the charts, especially now that the stock is already trading for considerably less than June's IPO.
5. The state of bling: I'm not sure who determined that a dog was a man's best friend, but surely jewelers must have decided that diamonds are a girl's. I'm not sure which gender got the better pal, but we'll find out just how well the industry's doing as Jared and Kay Jewelers parent Signet (SIG) reports on Thursday, and Tiffany (TIF) reports on Friday. Those looking for some sizzle overseas can hear what Hong Kong jeweler LJ International (JADE) has to say when it reports on Thursday.
Even if bling isn't your thing, it still pays to pay attention. Tiffany and Signet provide glimpses into the state of big-ticket sales. Given the recent multiyear highs in gold, it will be interesting to see whether folks are warming up to gold jewelry, given the speculative nature of the shiny yellow metal.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article.
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