5 Dates to Circle in March

March may signal the end of the holiday-tethered earnings season, but that doesn't mean that there won't be a lot of things for investors to watch.

From a new video game to a gutsy retailing initiative, let's start looking out to some of the events that will unfold this month.

March 3
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) kicked off the month by reporting financial results for its holiday quarter this morning. It wasn't pretty, with earnings taking a dive, but the superstore chain hits another interesting milestone later this weekend.

The consumer electronics retailer will begin price matching many online merchants across all categories starting on Sunday.

Best Buy experimented with some e-tail price matching over the holidays, but now it plans to expand the guarantee to 19 major online competitors on nearly all in-stock products when asked by a customer.

Best Buy is calling this the end to showrooming, but it might really be the end of profit margins as it knew it as customers get progressively smarter, armed with deal-sniffing smartphones.

March 4
One of the hottest sectors for investors last year was weight-loss drugs.

The FDA has finally cleared the way for new treatments, and several public companies have been soaring. Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA  ) treated investors to a 382% pop last year, and it will kick off the next trading week with its latest quarterly report on Monday.

Analysts see a sharply lower deficit out of Arena on a big increase in revenue. I guess you can call that weight loss on its bottom line.

March 12
The video game console industry has been sputtering, and PC games are also feeling the pinch.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI  ) will be hoping to make its mark with the release of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.

This is the first expansion pack being offered for the popular Starcraft II computer game, introducing 20 new missions to enhance the game play.

Activision Blizzard has enough games in the pipeline that it can bounce back quickly if this release doesn't pan out, but the problematic industry that has seen its sales slide for three years could use every winner that it can get.

March 21
Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) has evolved into a true fitness lifestyle brand.

It's no longer about the athletic footwear and branded apparel. Nike became the biggest player in wearable fitness monitoring when it introduced it Nike+ FuelBand early last year.

The high-tech bracelet that monitors steps and calories burned and ultimately offers its proprietary metric called Nike Fuel has been popular despite the $150 price point.

We'll get a clear snapshot of Nike's own health when it reports in three weeks. Analysts see revenue climbing 7% and profitability moving 11% higher on a per-share basis.

Nike has a good slugging percentage on the bottom line. The "just do it" giant has beaten Wall Street profit targets in six of the past seven quarters.

March 27
If it seems as if it was ages ago that BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) unveiled its new mobile operating system and the two initial smartphones that will feature BlackBerry 10, it's probably because it was ages ago.

The only surprise is that BlackBerry's new phones are still not available in the U.S. with the hype starting to fade.

There was a March 27 release date reportedly leaked at one of the carriers a few weeks ago. That's unlikely to stick, but let's go with that until the company tells us otherwise.

There's plenty riding on the new phone. Android and iOS continue to corner the market, and the arrival of Windows Phone 8 late last year hasn't made much of a dent.

The chances of BlackBerry succeeding are slim, but the shares are priced so low that the stock may be one of this year's biggest gainers if the Z10 and keyboard-packing Q10 devices turn heads when they're finally available.

Give me more
The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about all about them in "3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail," a special free report from The Motley Fool. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (5)

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 March 01, 2013, at 12:00 PM, prginww wrote:

    why the BBRY hate?

    the phone was released ages ago? really? not

    the hype is starting to fade? really? not

    the chances for BBRY's slim? realy? not

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 12:32 PM, prginww wrote:

    Not worried for BBRY.

    30-50% of new BB10 users are coming from Android/iPhone platforms in Spain and Canada.. I expect it to be the same in most other countries.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 12:48 PM, prginww wrote:

    >> Android and iOS continue to corner the market [...]

    Maybe those markets where BB10 is not available yet :-)

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 12:51 PM, prginww wrote:

    re: The chances of BlackBerry succeeding are slim

    The Fool has advocated buying Apple since last Fall and Shorting Blackberry at the same's that working out for ya fellas?

    ...looking forward to the Short squeeze coming this month, it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2013, at 7:17 AM, prginww wrote:

    Yo, I have been using my Z10 since Feb 2013. and with the latest software which will be coming to the USA. So go back and change your reviews. We have push email, the email rotational issues are 200% solved, gmail sync, better battery life, the browser is awesome, the camera now is much much better.

    the productivity apps are great for me, Remember App is awesome, BBM is awesome.

    Here is the funny thing, all the iOS users, really really like the gestures. They swipe to email , swipe back to the stock app make a trade, then swipe swipe ... so he swiped his iP5 for a Z10 . The gestures increases the navigations 100%

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