5 Things to Watch Next Week: Facebook Powwows, Music Streams, New TV Shows, and Earnings
There's never a dull moment on Wall Street -- and next week will be no exception. Here are some of the items that will help shape the week ahead once Monday rolls around.
1. Homebuilder house call: Another week, another real estate developer. Lennar (LEN) reports its quarterly results on Monday. Unlike many of the homebuilders that have been posting their financials in recent weeks, Lennar is profitable.
Despite the falling home prices in Lennar's home state of Florida, analysts see Lennar delivering its sixth consecutive quarterly profit next week. Analysts are expecting lower net income than the profit that Lennar rang up a year earlier, but staying out of the red over the past year and change is commendable.
How are prices holding up? Are new contracts coming in faster than contracts are being cancelled? These will be the key questions that analysts will likely want answered come Monday.
2. Facebook faces the music: Facebook's semi-regular developer conference -- f8 -- will kick off at the San Francisco Design Center on Thursday.
"f8 is for developers, entrepreneurs and innovators building a more social web by defining tomorrow's websites, apps and devices," reads the official pitch, but this isn't just for companies that want to be the next Zynga when it comes to social gaming.
TechCrunch reported earlier this month that music will be a major component of the f8 conference, as Facebook teams up with popular streaming sites and subscription services for deeper integration within Facebook itself. This is an important opportunity for Facebook, especially if its gives its more than 600 million active users fewer reasons to stray from the site itself.
Either way, expect more than a few announcements out of Facebook and its third-party developers later in the week.
3. Lights! Camera! Traction!: Couch potatoes can rejoice. The end of summer reruns is here. Most of the new season's shows will return next week, though some television debuts won't arrive until October.
A few of the more buzz-worthy new shows slated to make their network debuts next week include Fox's New Girl as well as CBS' (CBS) Person of Interest and 2 Broke Girls.
Person of Interest will have a hard act to follow, inheriting the Thursday night 9pm slot that has been historically owned by CSI. The other two shows are sitcoms. Given the iffy economy, 2 Broke Girls is either a case of timely genius or a sorry misinterpretation of the escapism nature of TV.
Either way, the stakes are high. There are enough new shows on the calendar to actually influence the way the four major networks stack up this season. Big ad dollars are at stake, so keep an eye on how the ratings line up in the coming weeks.
4. Stream on: Clear Channel (CCMO) has a killer app, even if the terrestrial radio giant isn't the company that folks typically think about when it comes to mobile music streaming.
The official relaunch of its iHeartRadio application is slated to coincide with a huge two-day music festival in Las Vegas that begins on Friday. The original program -- which allows music fans to stream roughly 800 Clear Channel radio stations from anywhere in the country -- has been a popular download, but now the media giant is raising the stakes by incorporating features that may make Pandora Media (P) nervous.
If you don't like the music programming on the new iHeartRadio stations, you can replace the DJ by sorting through 11 million songs to create your own play list. The application is free, and the customized stations will actually be commercial-free through the end of the year.
Commercial-free music as the handiwork of commercial radio? Times surely have changed.
5. Follow the money: It's quiet on the earnings front this time of year, but there are still several companies worth watching that will step up for their quarterly check-ins.
FedEx (FDX) will provide a great pulse check of the economy. If folks need parcels and business documents rushed through FedEx -- and are willing to pay the premium -- things can't be that bad.
Nike (NKE), Adobe (ADBE), and Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) are some of the other companies reporting that double as worthwhile gauges. You don't need to be a shareholder in any of the three companies to respect the merit of trends in branded footwear, publishing software, and home-based retail.
See, there is never a dull week on Wall Street.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of FedEx. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Adobe Systems, Nike, FedEx, and Bed Bath & Beyond, as well as creating diagonal call positions on Adobe and Nike.