From the leading restaurant reviews website trying to overcome knocks on its reputation to the last standing major DVD renter stepping up to offer fresh financials, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.
Monday -- Cheering on the Buffalo Herd
The sports bars industry didn't seem like a hot market until Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) began to expand aggressively with company-owned stores and generous franchising territory terms of its family-friendly concept. Earlier this year it topped 1,000 locations, rivaling many of the country's largest casual dining chains. It's come a long way since opening its first restaurant in Ohio 32 years ago.
Buffalo Wild Wings reports Monday afternoon. We've seen a lot of eateries stumble as the crummy weather in December carried over into wintry storms through January. Buffalo Wild Wings -- or B-Dubs, as fans of its chicken wings doused in 21 signature sauces like to say -- didn't have a problem weathering the storm during the holiday quarter. Same-store sales rose 5.2 percent at company-owned locations for the period. This quarter has been more challenging for some operators.
Tuesday -- Sitting at the Dock of eBay
eBay (EBAY) was one of the Internet's original dot-com darlings. The site, which got its start as a place for buy collectibles, has evolved into a full-blown global marketplace.
It certainly doesn't hurt that it acquired PayPal in 2002, recognizing that more of its traders were using that transaction platform over the one that it rolled out on its own. PayPal's growth has come to eclipse the namesake auction site in many ways, but both businesses have been growing briskly. Analysts see eBay, after topping $16 billion in combined revenue last year, ringing up more than $18 billion on the top line in 2014. It will get its first chance to check in against those expectations when it announces its first quarter financials on Tuesday.
Wednesday -- A Cry for Yelp
The bigger you get, the more enemies you make. Yelp (YELP) came under fire earlier this month after the Federal Trade Commission announced that more than 2,000 complaints have poured in from merchants claiming that Yelp is featuring negative reviews after they failed to pay for premium marketing services on the site.
The accusations aren't to be taken lightly, but Wall Street is still looking past the gripes. At least four analysts have upgraded the leading site for reviews of local venues. The notoriety is apparently no match for success, as Yelp saw the number of reviews on its site soar 47 percent to 53 million. Yelp will have another chance to tell its side of the story when it reports quarterly results on Wednesday.
Thursday -- DVDs on Borrowed Time
You may not be familiar with Outerwall (OUTR), but there's a pretty good chance that you know its Redbox subsidiary. Redbox is the leading renter of DVDs, video games and Blu-ray discs these days, at economical nightly rental rates from unmanned kiosks.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Streaming video is the future. However, the DVD's fade in popularity has resulted in an opportunity for Redbox as Blockbuster and other video stores close down. Outerwall reports on Thursday, and analysts see revenue and earnings climbing a mere 2 percent for the quarter. It's not much, but at least it's still moving in the right direction.
Friday -- Prescribing a Cure for the Earnings Season Blues
CVS Caremark (CVS) wraps up the trading week with its latest quarterly report on Friday morning. Analysts see the drugstore operator earning $1.05 a share for the period, well ahead of the 82 cents a share that it checked in with a year earlier.
CVS Caremark has managed to exceed analyst bottom-line forecasts every single quarter over the past year. Investors naturally hope that the streak continues. The stock hit an all-time high just last month.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Buffalo Wild Wings, CVS Caremark, eBay and Yelp. The Motley Fool owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings and eBay.
10 Easy Ways to Pay Off Debt
Wall Street This Week: eBay, B-Dubs, Yelp and More
"Your daily habits and routines are the reason you got into this mess," writes Trent Hamm, founder of TheSimpleDollar.com. "Spend some time thinking about how you spend money each day, each week and each month." Do you really need your daily latte? Can you bring your lunch to work instead of buying it four times a week? Ask yourself: What can I change without sacrificing my lifestyle too much?
Remove all credit cards from your wallet and leave them at home when you go shopping, advises WiseBread contributor Sabah Karimi. “Even if you earn cash back or other rewards with credit card purchases, stop spending with your credit cards until you have your finances under control,” she writes.
If you do a lot of online shopping at one retailer, you may have stored your credit card information on the site to make the checkout process easier. But that also makes it easier to charge items you don't need. So clear that information. "If you’re paying for a recurring service, use a debit card issued from a major credit card service linked to your checking account," Hamm writes.
Reward yourself when you reach debt payoff goals. "The only way to completely pay off your credit card debt is to keep at it, and to do that, you must keep yourself motivated," Bakke writes. Just make sure to reward yourself within reason. For example, instead of a weeklong vacation, plan a weekend camping trip. "If you aim to reduce your credit card debt from $10,000 to $5,000 in two months," Bakke writes, "give yourself more than a pat on the back."
“Establish a budget,” writes Money Crashers contributor David Bakke. “If you don't scale back your spending, you'll dig yourself into a deeper hole." You can use personal finance tools like Mint.com, or make your own Excel spreadsheet that includes your monthly income and expenses. Then scrutinize those budget categories to see where you can cut costs.
Sort your credit card interest rates from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first. "By paying off the balance with the highest interest first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards," writes Mint.com spokeswoman Hitha Prabhakar.
To make a dent in your debt, you need to pay more than the minimum balance on your credit card statements each month. "Paying the minimum -– usually 2 to 3 percent of the outstanding balance -– only prolongs a debt payoff strategy," Prabhakar writes. "Strengthen your commitment to pay everything off by making weekly, instead of monthly, payments." Or if your minimum payment is $100, try doubling it and paying off $200 or more.
If you have a high-interest card with a balance that you’re confident you can pay off in a few months, Hamm recommends moving the debt to a card that offers a zero-interest balance transfer. "You’ll need to pay off the debt before the balance transfer expires, or else you’re often hit with a much higher interest rate," he warns. "If you do it carefully, you can save hundreds on interest this way."
Have any birthday gifts or old wedding presents collecting dust in your closet? Look for items you can sell on eBay or Craigslist. "Do some research to make sure you list these items at a fair and reasonable price," Karimi writes. “Take quality photos, and write an attention-grabbing headline and description to sell the item as quickly as possible." Any profits from sales should go toward your debt.
If you receive a job bonus around the holidays or during the year, allocate that money toward your debt payoff plan. "Avoid the temptation to spend that bonus on a vacation or other luxury purchase," Karimi writes. It’s more important to fix your financial situation than own the latest designer bag.