4 Dates to Circle in March
March is here, even after giving February an extra day to strut its stuff.
Let's go over a few of the upcoming days to watch.
It's now been three years since Liberty Media provided Sirius XM with the financing it needed to get through its recessionary cash crunch. Liberty was awarded a handsome 15% interest rate on the more than $500 million that it let Sirius XM borrow, but it also received a 40% preferred share stake that is now worth a whopping $6 billion.
Restrictions that prohibited Liberty from aggressively adding to its stake are now expiring. The "fasten your seat belts" light is going off, and Liberty will be free to move around the cabin.
It may very well choose to do nothing. Some argue that it may make a move to grow its 40% stake to 50%. However, at least one aggressive analyst feels that Liberty may try to double its stake so it can both own the satellite radio monopoly and use the chunky net operating losses to offset future taxable earnings.
Sirius XM has never been boring, but now it will be even more interesting.
"We have something you really have to see," the invitation reads, with a high-resolution iPad in the background. "And touch."
Of course the iPad will be more powerful. The display will be upgraded. There's a better than fair shot that the dual cameras will also be improved. Despite the heartier specs, the price points should remain the same.
There will still be a few questions to answer. Will it be called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD? Will it go where even no iPhone has gone before by offering 4G LTE connectivity?
Another interesting matter that should be revealed on Wednesday is whether Apple plans to keep the iPad 2 around after the new tablet hits the market. Some analysts believe that Apple will continue to make the entry-level iPad 2 at a lower price point.
Just do it?
Nike (NYS: NKE) checks in with its latest quarterly results in three weeks.
Will Nike be closer to an actual Jeremy Lin shoe by then? Are folks buying branded athletic apparel and footwear, or is the economy still playing a stifling defense?
There will be something else for Nike to talk about during the quarter. The Nike+ FuelBand -- a bold attempt to turn mobile health mainstream -- hit the market last week (and exactly one month before Nike's earnings report). The allotments have been selling out as quickly as they have become available, but is Nike ready to divulge actual sales numbers for the high-tech bracelets that measure movement and calories burned through a proprietary metric called Nike Fuel?
We'll see. Either way, earnings always make it count.
Year-over-year profitability has been falling for more than a year now at the consumer electronics chain. The "showrooming" trend continues to haunt the company, as the same customers that it armed with smartphones are now using those devices to find better prices elsewhere.
If analysts are right, there will be sighs of relief this time. Wall Street is banking on net sales and earnings to climb 6% and 9%, respectively, for its holiday fiscal quarter. Then again, Best Buy has missed bottom-line estimates in the two previous quarters.
Watch out for that dropping shoe.
Give me more
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At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nike and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple, writing covered calls on Best Buy, and creating a diagonal call position in Nike. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Liberty Media. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
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