Wall Street This Week: Cyber Monday Fades, Retailers Report
Monday -- The Shopping Mall Is in Your Hand
The new trading week kicks off on Cyber Monday, but it's not as if the online shopping holiday is the big deal that it used to be. Let's dive into the date's origin story. Cyber Monday was coined when frustrated Black Friday shoppers would return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. They would go shopping online to begin checking off the gift items that they weren't able to get over the weekend.
A lot has changed since then. For starters, most people now have steady connectivity in the home and even on the go. Consumers also now trust the fulfillment abilities of e-tailers, so there's little risk in waiting until deep into December to place an Internet order. Online retailers will naturally play up their Cyber Monday sales, but there's more bark than bite these days.
Tuesday -- Good Gravy
Bob Evans (BOBE) reports financial results Tuesday afternoon. Wall Street pros see the restaurant operator checking in with a profit of 39 cents a share, just ahead of the 36 cents a share it posted a year earlier. That's decent growth for a restaurant realm that's been challenging for other casual-dining operators, and Bob Evans is already coming off back-to-back quarters of better-than-expected bottom-line results. We'll see if it can stretch that streak to three quarters after Tuesday's market close.
Wednesday -- Fickle Fashion
Teen fashion comes and goes, and Aeropostale (ARO) is a mall chain that has fallen out of favor with its young shoppers. It reports quarterly results oWednesday and it's not likely to be pretty.
The once-popular shopping mall icon has posted 11 consecutive quarters of losses, and each of the 17 analysts following the stock expect that streak to stretch to a cool dozen on Wednesday. There's a reason the stock is trading for pocket change, and a turnaround for the chain of nearly 800 namesake stores and more than two dozen P.S. stores for pre-teens doesn't seem likely in time for the holiday shopping season that just got underway.
Thursday -- Book It
Barnes & Noble (BKS) is the last of the major booksellers left standing. It's not easy to sell traditional books in an era in which e-readers, tablets, and laptops are the way folks are consuming written content.
It's holding up better than you might think. It's expected to post a small deficit for the quarter, but unlike Aeropostale, that shouldn't get in the way of it posting a profit for the entire fiscal year. There are still folks snapping up books, CDs, and toys.
Friday -- Black Friday
Most networks have their holiday specials, so it's about time that Netflix (NFLX) rolled out its own potential classic. "A Very Murray Christmas" begins streaming on the leading premium video service on Friday. The Bill Murray-hosted film is a throwback to the musical variety shows of yesteryear. Sofia Coppola is directing, and a cast of heavy-hitting celebrities including George Clooney, Amy Poehler, and Chris Rock should make it a popular seasonal streaming choice through December.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Barnes & Noble and Bob Evans Farms and has the following options: short December 2015 $55 puts on Bob Evans Farms. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days, and click here to check out our free report for one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.