Wall Street This Week: Monsanto Earns; Barnes & Noble Flails

Monsanto Co. Products Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMonsanto DeKalb brand seed corn is sorted in a warehouse in Manlius, Ill.
From a giant agribusiness company trying to sow seeds in its latest quarter to the leading bookseller expected to post another weak quarter, here are some of the events that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Tick Tock

The trading week kicks off with smartwatch pioneer Pebble initiating preorders for Pebble Time. The new smartwatch works with both iOS and Android phones, and at $199 it's far cheaper than Apple's (AAPL) game-changing Apple Watch. Pebble initiated the smartwatch revolution with its Kickstarter-funded Pebble timepiece three years ago.

We're only talking about preorders starting Monday, available exclusively at Best Buy (BBY) in the U.S. and online for the rest of the world. Pebble has proven to be the closest thing to competition that Apple has faced, and Pebble Time is already taking shots at the limited battery life of Apple Watch by pointing out that its full-color displays still get about a week of play between charges (unlike the daily recharges required for the more high-tech Apple Watch).

Tuesday -- When You're Here, You're Family

Darden Restaurants (DRI) isn't a household name, but there's a good chance that you've eaten at one of its restaurants. This is the company behind Olive Garden, LongHorn and several other dining concepts.
A proxy battle late last year shook up the boardroom and the executive ranks at Darden. Olive Garden has started to show signs of life, but restaurant-level traffic still clocked in lower in its latest quarter. We'll get another snapshot of Darden's turnaround efforts when it reports its latest quarterly results Tuesday morning.

Wednesday -- GMO to Go

Monsanto (MON) reports quarterly results Wednesday morning. The top dog in agricultural chemicals is a controversial name. The public's divided over the benefits of GMOs (more bountiful harvests that help feed more people economically) and the setbacks (potential long-term health risks), but for now the bulls are winning. Analysts see Monsanto posting an 8 percent year-over-year increase in revenue for the quarter, with profitability growing even faster.

Thursday -- Turning the Page

It's not easy being a traditional bookseller these days. Folks aren't reading conventional books, preferring to browse websites or scroll through e-books. If you need proof, you don't have to look any further than Barnes & Noble (BKS).

The last of the major book superstores still standing reports Thursday, and it's shaping up to be another bad quarter. Analysts see another loss on a double-digit year-over-year decline in sales.

Friday -- Tick Tock Strikes Again

The week kicks off with smartwatch news, so it may as well end with some. Apple Watch will be available Friday in several more countries -- Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.

This is actually good news for folks closer to home, too. It suggests that the production delays that held back initial Apple Watch orders for as long as two months have started to settle down. In fact, checking the consumer tech giant's website finds most Apple Watch models ready to ship in a matter of days now.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Barnes & Noble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days, and check out our free report for one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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