5 Dates to Circle in August


August is here, and it's not just the summertime weather that's heating up.

Let's go over a few of the noteworthy events taking place this month.

Aug. 2
(NYS: LNKD) steps up with its quarterly report tomorrow, exactly one week after the world's leading social-networking website posted uninspiring results.

LinkedIn bulls will argue that it will be different. LinkedIn's white-collar users provide a more scintillating target audience than conventional social sites. We're not talking about sharing high-school reunion snapshots or playing CityVille. LinkedIn users mean business.

Analysts see LinkedIn's revenue soaring 78%, with earnings per share climbing 60% to $0.16.

Aug. 7
Satellite radio takes to the earnings stage next Tuesday morning, when Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) chimes in with its second-quarter financials.

No one's concerned about profitability with Sirius XM anymore. The media giant has been consistently profitable for three years. There also won't be any surprises when it comes to subscriber growth. Sirius XM preannounced that it added 622,042 net subscribers during the second quarter, giving it the flexibility to boost its target for all of 2012.

Now that Sirius XM is the steady grower that bulls always wanted, the real drama here is the ownership battle taking place as a control-hungry minority stakeholder has grown its stake to 46.2% of the company.

It will be an interesting and potentially colorful conference call.

Aug. 14
It's showtime for the orange aprons: Home Depot (NYS: HD) will hit the register with its latest quarterly report.

It's been a good run for companies specializing in home improvement projects. There were two encouraging quarterly reports out of the country's leading purveyors of composite patio decking and hardwood flooring.

Home prices are finally starting to hold steady, and that's giving homeowners the confidence to spruce up their properties. Worrywarts will argue that the housing recovery can all go away if the economy buckles or if mortgage rates spike higher, but the climate -- for now -- should be kind to the top dog in home improvement superstores.

Aug. 15
If you're trying to gauge the pulse of Corporate America, Cisco (NAS: CSCO) is a pretty good source.

The maker of networking equipment isn't the global juggernaut it used to be. Believe it or not, Cisco was the country's most valuable company for a brief period of time a dozen years ago. As Cisco broke through its $500 billion market cap, some began to wonder if the router maker would be the world's first $1 trillion company.

It never happened. The dot-com bubble burst, and Cisco shares were slammed.

Cisco hasn't had it easy on this side of the millennium. Struggles on the consumer end and heightened competition on the enterprise end have taken most of the luster off Cisco as a darling growth stock. It's still a bellwether, though, and that's a good reason to tune in when Cisco checks in later this month.

Aug. 21
Best Buy (NYS: BBY) has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Two years of sluggish store-level performance, a CEO dismissed earlier this year for an alleged inappropriate relationship with an underling, and an angry founder have added more drama than usual to the leading consumer electronics superstore chain.

There has been little to look forward to with every passing quarterly report, so Best Buy's next call in three weeks shouldn't be all that encouraging.

However, Best Buy is closing down underperforming stores, slashing overhead elsewhere, and pushing a new strategy that emphasizes smaller Best Buy Mobile stores over its marquee stores.

Will Best Buy continue to fade, or will the founder return to take the company private before that happens? The next chapter for Best Buy may come later this month.

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The Motley Fool owns shares of Linkedin, Best Buy, and Cisco Systems.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of The Home Depot and Linkedin. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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