What to Watch on Wall Street This Week: From Jell-O to Cisco
Monday -- Organic Growth: The market for organic foods has never been hotter, and Annie's (BNNY) is there to cash in on consumers craving more natural edibles. It makes organic pastas, crackers, frozen pizzas, and other food products.
Annie's reports after the market closes on Monday. It should be another quarter of healthy growth. Analysts see revenue and earnings growing by roughly 20 percent for the quarter that ended in December. The one thing that investors will need to watch out for is that Annie's has missed Wall Street's profit targets in the previous two quarters.
Tuesday -- In Control: One of last month's big winners was Control4 (CTRL). Shares of the home automation specialist soared 29 percent in January, bucking the market, which took a bit of a tumble. And you don't have to look too hard to spot the catalyst behind its rally. Google's (GOOG) acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest drew attention to Control4 as another play on automated home technology. The thinking here is that if Google is buying into the niche of Web-fueled home automation, other dot-com giants may consider acquiring Control4 to establish a presence in this new battlefield.
Control4 reports on Tuesday. It's unlikely to admit that it's receiving buyout interest on the heels of Google's move, but you know it's going to be asked.
Wednesday -- The Cisco kid: It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time when Cisco (CSCO) was this country's most valuable company. Just before the dot-com bubble popped, the leading provider of routers, switches, and other networking gear commanded the market's largest market cap. Then again, at the time we thought that anything Web-related was worth a whole lot of money, and Cisco was the company getting companies connected.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Cisco's still a tech bellwether, but it's looking far more mortal after lumpy financial performances, failures on the consumer end, and layoffs. Cisco reports on Wednesday. It should be a rough quarter with revenue and earnings posting year-over-year declines. More than Prince, Cisco would love to go back in time to party like it's 1999.
Thursday: Arts and Kraft: Food giants are often portrayed as all-weather investments. Whether times are good or bad, folks still have to eat. Kraft Foods (KRFT) reports on Thursday afternoon. Beyond its namesake cheeses, it owns marquee brands such as Maxwell House coffee, Oscar Mayer hot dogs, and Jell-O pudding, just to name a few.
Kraft Foods is also the company behind Velveeta, so it will be interesting to see if it has anything to say on the recently reported shortage of the popular processed cheese product.
The one downside to food companies as all-weather performers is that their growth is typically anemic. Analysts expect Kraft Foods to report its revenue grew by just 3 percent during the quarter, and to forecast growth of just 2 percent for all of 2014. That's barely keeping up with inflation, but patient shareholders will be rewarded by Kraft shares' 4 percent yield.
Friday: Card Tricks: It's Valentine's Day, but don't be surprised if some romantic dinner dates get cut short as folks rush home to start catching the second season of "House of Cards" on Netflix (NFLX). The award-winning political drama series returns on Friday, and as usual, the leading video service will make the entire season available at once. Happy binge viewing, "House of Cards" fans.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems, Google, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Netflix. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.