4 Dates to Circle in May

April showers may lead to the flowers that bloom in May, but will the same hold true for the companies positioned to deliver meaty news in the coming weeks?

Between meaty quarterly reports, beefy cinematic debuts, and conspiracy theories surrounding a shuttered acquisition, there will be plenty of things taking place in the month ahead.

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

May 4
Now that Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) is back in exchange compliance, investors can turn their attention to tomorrow morning's first-quarter report.

Analysts expect the satellite radio provider to post break-even results. Some of the good news is already out there. Sirius XM already revealed that it closed out the first quarter with 171,441 more subscribers than it started with. This makes it the third consecutive quarter of sequential growth on that front.

There may be updates on how contract negotiations are going with Howard Stern or if it will let its authorization to declare a reverse split expire next month. However, most of the emphasis will be on its improving cash flow position and what should be a healthy conversion rate on its free trial subscriptions given the more buoyant economy.  

May 7
Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) now owns the studio that's behind what may be the first blockbuster of the upcoming summer movie season: Marvel's Iron Man 2 hits theaters Friday.

The family entertainment giant is hoping to get its money worth out of its recent $4 billion acquisition. Disney's thesis involves milking Marvel's thousands of untapped comic book characters, but it's obviously hoping for proven superheroes, including Iron Man, to come out on top on the silver screen.

Another company hoping for a strong Iron Man 2 run is IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX  ) . The maker of gargantuan screens providing premium cinematic experiences is coming off of its best quarter in its 43-year history. The one-two punch of Avatar and Disney's own Alice in Wonderland is clearly a hard act to follow, but IMAX has a busy summer slate.

May 12
The global launch of Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Office 2010 for business users is slated for the morning of May 12.

A lot is riding on Microsoft's latest productivity suite. Windows 7 has been a huge hit, but it's carrying the world's largest software company right now. Revenue outside of its flagship operating system actually fell during Microsoft's latest quarter, and languishing Office sales were the main culprit.

Will enterprises take to the refreshed suite, though? It remains to be seen if folks need to upgrade to new versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint if the older versions do the trick. Cloud computing also offers up free or cheap server-based solutions including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Apps and Oracle's (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) recently acquired OpenOffice. Microsoft may have easily vanquished its traditional rivals in the past, but nimbler competition in the future will be challenging.

May 31
The end-of-month shutdown of streaming music service lala.com would be a footnote in the annals of failed dot-com music sites if not for the simple fact that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) acquired Lala just six months ago.

Fans of bittersweet irony may enjoy the sad contrast on lala.com's landing page. Its "Where music plays" tag line still shows up on my browser header, but the page reads "Lala is shutting down" followed by the May 31 end date.

Why would Apple pay up for an up-and-coming music discovery site only to stomp it out a few months later? The obvious conclusion is that Apple was simply acquiring the technology and Lala's capable engineers in order to roll out a cloud-based iTunes streaming service of its own. Timing the closure for this month -- when everyone is expecting new iPhones and perhaps an iTunes update in June -- makes it a pretty safe conspiracy theory wager.

Are you circling any particular dates in May for financial news? Share your calendar in the comments box below.

Walt Disney and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google and IMAX are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Apple and Walt Disney are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders why February is the shortest month of the year, yet May has the shortest name. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. 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, and it keeps a calendar handy.


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