4 Dates to Circle in May

If you think this will be an uneventful month, let me introduce you to my calendar. I see plenty of revealing days this May, particularly in the leisure-stocks sector I follow religiously. Earnings season may be winding down, but the fun is just getting started.

Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open:

May 4
Changyou.com
(Nasdaq: CYOU  ) reports on Monday. Even if you're not familiar with the Chinese online gaming company, its performance will be a worthy measuring stick on many different levels.

  • The stock has nearly doubled since going public a month ago, so it's got little room to disappoint in its first quarter as a public company.
  • Only four companies have gone public this year; demand for future IPOs may hinge on how this year's debutantes pan out.
  • Expectations are high, with analysts expecting profits to nearly double to $0.60 a share. If that leads you to believe that Changyou is probably priced at a rich multiple, you're wrong. It's fetching just 14 times last year's profitability, and only 10 times next year's target. 

As a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers analyst team, Changyou's report is also a "must watch" performance, since I recommended Changyou parent Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU  ) to subscribers several months ago. Sohu maintains a majority stake in the company.

May 7
Sirius XM Radio
(Nasdaq: SIRI  ) reports Thursday morning. After the company closed out last year's final quarter with just 82,945 more subscribers than it started with, investors can't be blamed for getting nervous. A rate hike on secondary accounts, a soft economy, and the moribund auto market aren't exactly catalysts for new signups. Unless the company had a decent chunk of holiday buyers belatedly activate their receivers in January, this may be the first quarter in the company's history in which it actually sheds subscribers sequentially. In Sirius XM's defense, healthier-than-expected cash flow should help offset any potential weakness on the subscriber front.

May 8
Star Trek opens at a multiplex near you, which could be huge for Viacom's (NYSE: VIA  ) Paramount. The franchise has faded in recent years, but now the studio is taking a novel approach to reposition the classic sci-fi series, bringing in Lost mastermind J.J. Abrams and a young cast to win over a new -- and perhaps wider -- audience. No one will confuse Viacom's vault of characters with Marvel's (Nasdaq: MVL  ) fleet, but this could be the renaissance that Viacom needs on the theatrical front.

May 29
Disney
's (NYSE: DIS  ) Up hits theaters. It's the latest Pixar release, and a lot is riding on this animated feature. Pixar's recent releases like Wall-E and Ratatouille have been critically acclaimed winners, but their financial success has still fallen short at the box office when compared to the company's earlier hits. DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA  ) has also been stealing some of Pixar's thunder as the only stand-alone computer animation company trading on the public markets. DreamWorks posted better-than-expected quarterly results this week. 

Up will also be challenged for its lack of female characters, and for banking on an elderly curmudgeon as its lead. Pixar spins moviemaking gold, but will the audiences show -- pardon the pun -- Up?

May will reveal all.

Some other reads to get you through the month:

Sohu.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Walt Disney, DreamWorks Animation SKG, and Marvel Entertainment are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz also won't forget that his wife's birthday is in May. He does own shares in Disney and DreamWorks Animation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (15)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Fredlee009 wrote:

    Rick, why do you continue to write 2 ARTICLES a day on this company you hate, and are "nervous" about. The focus of the Q1 report, Im very sad to tell you, is not going to be subs, which will be even. Not down a lot at all(under 50K). Im actually predicting around 19.1 for a minor gain in subs.

    1. Increased penetration rate in cars.

    2. Car sales increased in late March/April(I know April is too late for Q1).

    3. Cancelled subs from XM lineup change is gone.

    4. Cancelled subs from being pissed about the merger, gone.

    Anyway..

    The focus will be on ARPU, and SAC. Both will be improved. But the main on is EBITA, which you didnt mention.

    Email me...

    If your going to write 2 Sirius articles a day, let me write one of them, so at least investors can get a real picture of this company, and its prospects.

    Sad your the main voice on this company. Your either...

    1. Ignorant

    2. Stupid

    3. You have an agenda.

    All In my opinion of course. Im basing this off of YOUR ARTICLES. I have hundreds of proof to the above claims.

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2009, at 2:46 PM, asm610 wrote:

    What is it going to take for you to finally realize which way this stock is headed? I bet you will say I told you so too!

  • Report this Comment On May 01, 2009, at 3:49 PM, JRSmithman wrote:

    The final Piece of the puzzle will be put into place after May 7th with the reports. Everyone is not buying the stock now, because of Hedge funds ending the week and not to carry margine ove the weekend closer to the time of May 7th the stocks will jump about 20 to 30% starting next week

  • Report this Comment On May 02, 2009, at 6:02 PM, McNabRanch wrote:

    For christ's sake get off poor Aristotle's back.....he's just trying to make a buck and Siri is always good for clicks...gets mine....I'm interested in all news/info/outlooks, but bad mouthing him means nothing to me....throw your data around all you want, but in the end it's all about an economy none of us have a grip on, and a bunch of execs and politicos whose agendas we don't know either. I'm in 50K shares at .27 and it either goes away or I make some money...end of story....but I bet I keep enjoying my sat-rad around my home in the hills (where my cell barely works) and all over this country and from Canada to Baja regardless who eventually owns or runs it.

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