The first four months of 2014 have been bumpy for investors, especially for growth-stock investors who have seen many of last year's market darlings correct sharply in recent weeks. We can't look back at this point. It's time to look forward at what the new month will bring. Don't let the "sell in May and go away" worrywarts get you down this time of year. There are opportunities to be had.
From a major streaming deal going live that could change the landscape of online television to a struggling retailer posting an important quarter's performance, let's start looking ahead to some of the events that will unfold this month.
This is that one weekend when all eyes turn to Omaha. It's the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting at the CenturyLink Center. There will be hours of Q&A and great deals on products from Berkshire Hathaway companies. More importantly, there will be the opportunity to hear Warren Buffett speak.
The most successful investor of our time is now 83 years old, and his business partner, Charlie Munger, will also take the stage. Every Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting is a festive affair, but there's always the matter of how things will be once Buffett and Munger move on.
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ) revved up the typically ho-hum automotive market with its pricey Model S sedans that run on electricity. Drivers have been hesitant to give up gas-guzzlers, but Tesla's been making waves to tackle "range anxiety" by building out charging networks across the country, making plug-in vehicles cool along the way.
Tesla reports earnings next week. Analysts see another profitable quarter with a 25% uptick in sales. The real story will likely be Tesla's outlook. Is production continuing to ramp up? Is it still on track to begin rolling out its Model X by the end of this year? We'll know more on Wednesday.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) has been trying to set its video streaming platform apart from the niche leader, but apparently Downton Abbey, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and a modest slate of original content hasn't been enough. That could change in three weeks when Amazon becomes the streaming home for a lot of the valuable HBO content. You won't find Game of Thrones there, but entire runs of The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, and other classics are a good start. Older seasons from current shows will also be made available.
The HBO content will begin streaming at no additional cost to Amazon Prime loyalty shoppers through Prime Instant Video starting May 21. It's going to be a game changer, and it may well trigger a spike in Amazon's new Fire TV set-top media player.
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) was one of last year's hottest stocks, but it's been a big laggard in 2014. The stock has shed 35% of its value this year after soaring 237% in 2013. The stock was popular as a turnaround story last year, but now we're seeing how difficult it is to actually turn around. Sales, comps, and adjusted earnings and operating margins all declined during the holiday quarter, and there isn't a lot to get excited about as we gear up for its fiscal first quarter on the morning of May 22.
Analysts see another slight dip in sales and a larger decline in profitability. Best Buy is certainly holding up better than naysayers who predicted that it would follow Circuit City and Borders into the retail superstore obituaries, but it still needs to start taking steps in the right direction.
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