5 Things to Watch This Week: Disney, Retailers, Office Supplies, Soda and Animation
There's never a dull moment on Wall Street. Let's go over some of the items that will help shape the week that lies ahead.
1. That Was Easy: Office supplies aren't very exciting. No one has ever written a love song about copier toner cartridges or rolls of cash register tape.
However, tracking the sale of workspace essentials is a great way to gauge the health of corporate America. Office Depot (ODP) checks in with its latest quarterly results Tuesday. Staples (SPLS) follows on Wednesday.
How convenient is that? Two of the largest office supply retailers will step up on back-to-back days, providing a great snapshot of the shopping trends of small- and medium-sized businesses.
2. Leap for Joy: If you've ever been at a theme park and wished that the day would never end, Disney (DIS) has the event for you.
As part of its "One More Disney Day" promotion, the family entertainment giant will keep its Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and its original Disneyland attraction in California open for 24 hours straight on Wednesday.
Why Wednesday? Well, this is a leap year -- and that is Feb. 29.
Disney unveiled the marketing gimmick just minutes after 2012 officially began. The leisure company typically has different annual promotions, and keeping its two busiest parks open for an entire day is certainly going to draw attention.
But if you do head out there, don't try to ride It's a Small World for all 24 hours. The song will be permanently etched into your brain after that.
3. Can You Beat the Real Thing?: There's that magical moment growing up, when a kid at a soda fountain feels as if he just made up something new by mixing Sprite with Coke. Sorry, kid. Sproke's been around for ages. Root beer with a dash of orange soda? Been there.
Now there's a way to tap into your inner mixologist. SodaStream (SODA) -- an Israeli company that's been very successful through Europe -- introduced its home-based beverage system through major U.S. retailers in 2010. This was also around the same time that SodaStream went public at $20, and its stock has gone on to double.
The system is pretty simple. The basic model doesn't require any kind of electricity. An attached carbonator fizzes up a liter of flat water. Soda sippers can then turn sparkling water into pop by adding one of the dozens of available flavors.
SodaStream reports its latest quarterly results on Wednesday. The holiday quarter should be a strong one for SodaStream. Whether it's the convenience of not having to lug cans and bottles around, the eco-friendly nature of less waste, or the taste of fresh soda, SodaStream has taken off.
On Wednesday, we'll know exactly where it landed.
4. Retailers on Parade: More than a few retailers will be reporting this week -- home improvement superstore chain Lowe's (LOW), auto parts giant AutoZone (AZO), and footwear specialist Genesco (GCO) among them.
This will also be a big week for chains that help shoppers stretch a buck, as Costco (COST) and Big Lots (BIG) are also stepping up with their latest financials.
Costco and Big Lots go about entirely different ways to smoke out bargains. Costco is a warehouse club. It relies on bulk sizes, bare-bones open warehouse decor, and an audience so loyal that they don't mind paying $60 a year for the right to shop there. Costco even bumped its annual fees 10% higher late last year, and buyers keep coming.
Big Lots doesn't ask for a membership card at the door, but don't expect to find the same things every time you go. Big Lots buys the overstocks and clearance items of traditional retailers or distressed manufacturers. The superstore chain can then pass on the savings.
5. Computer Animation Boots Up: Outside of Disney's Pixar, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) is the country's best known computer animation studio. From cynical fairy tale ogres to a panda practicing martial arts, DreamWorks Animation knows how to spin some colorful tales of fancy. One of its upcoming releases is a story about a snail that wants to race. Turbo will hit a multiplex near you in the summer of 2013.
DreamWorks Animation reports Tuesday. Analysts see a sharp drop in profitability, but investors know that they have to expect lumpiness in a business that revolved around just two or three releases a year.
DreamWorks will bounce back, the way it always has in the past. It's never too late for a happy ending.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples and Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of SodaStream International, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Walt Disney, Costco Wholesale, Staples, and Lowe's Cos. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls in Lowe's Companies.