What to Watch on Wall St.: A Quiet Week for Earnings, a Busy One for Apple
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. Apple's got it going on. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference -- better known as WWDC -- takes place this week.
From Monday through Friday, Apple's (AAPL) annual powwow isn't just a big event for software coders and app makers. The world's most valuable tech company may spring a few surprises and product-line updates that will attract major media attention.
Will Apple be updating its MacBook line, which is due for a makeover? Probably. There's less of a chance of any breaking news on the iPhone 5 and iTV fronts, but the class act of Cupertino always puts on a good show. If you're a geek -- or a geek at heart -- you'll want to be checking out what Apple's up to in San Francisco during WWDC 12 all week long.
2. Some ticker symbols are hard to live up to. There may be plenty of stocks with cool ticker symbols, but this one takes the cake. Majesco Entertainment (COOL) steps up with its quarterly report this week.
Video game company Majesco is probably best known for the Cooking Mama games and the Zumba Fitness franchise. Zumba, which blends motion games with a workout regimen, has sold an astounding 7 million copies.
This is a bad time for the gaming industry in general. Sales have fallen for three years. Die-hard gamers are still loyal, but many of the mainstream gamers have moved on to cheaper diversions available through smarpthone apps and on social-networking websites.
It won't be a surprise to see Majesco earn less than it did a year earlier, but the company should still remain profitable.
3. Take a short walk, but go long on Pier 1. One of the market's hottest stocks since the market bottomed out three years ago is ready to show off.
Investors were dumping Pier 1 Imports (PIR) in March 2009 when shares of the home furnishings retailer traded for as little as $0.10 a share. Anyone buying then -- and holding now, when the stock's trading in the mid teens -- would be sitting on a better-than-100-bagger.
Then again, investors thought Pier 1 would file for bankruptcy as losses mounted and a crumbling residential real-estate market reduced people's interest in sprucing up their homes with imported furniture and accessories.
Things are going a lot better these days. For starters, the pros see the chain earning $0.16 a share, and that's not only better than the $0.12 a share that Pier 1 delivered a year earlier, but also more than the stock's price when it bottomed out 39 months ago.
4. Make some multiplex magic. It's true that 2011 was a disaster for exhibitors. You have to go back to the other side of the millennium to find a year in which fewer movie tickets were sold. Thankfully for multiplex owners and movie studios, 2012 has been a far better year.
The two big movies opening up this Friday will be Rock of Ages and That's My Boy. Both films have been promoted heavily leading up their cinematic releases, though the film trailers haven't been all that impressive.
Then again, some real potential blockbusters open later this month.
5. All quiet on the earnings front. There won't be many companies reporting their quarterly financials this week, but there are more names than just Majesco and Pier 1.
Supermarket operator Kroger (KR), recently IPOed luxury brand Kors (KORS), and cafeteria chain Luby's (LUB) will all be checking in with their latest results. All three are expected to crank out solid profitability on the quarter. Don't tune out, though. Just as some of this summer's biggest movies will open later this month, some big-name companies will be reporting next week.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple.