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The Fool's Look Ahead

After accompanying my son to a crowded Guitar Hero III midnight release party last weekend, I have new respect for Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI  ) . Unfortunately, analysts expect the company to hit a sour note on Monday and post a small loss for its latest quarter. That should change in the current quarter, especially with the long lines of people forking over $90 to $100 last Sunday for the new guitar-riffing game.

Diamond engagement rings shine on Tuesday, as Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE  ) steps up, perhaps on bended knee, to discuss its third-quarter financials. The stock doesn't appear cheap, but it's never really traded at a bargain multiple, for two good reasons. First, stellar growth. Earnings are expected to climb 45% higher to $0.16 a share for the period. Second, market-thumping performance. The online upscale jeweler has beaten Wall Street's expectations in 12 of its first 13 quarters as a public company.

Router rooters will cheer -- or jeer -- when networking giant Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) reports on Wednesday. It should be a healthy showing. Analysts see profits inching 16% higher, to hit $0.36 a share for the quarter.

If things go well with that Blue Nile engagement ring on Tuesday, The Knot (Nasdaq: KNOT  ) should come in handy. The wedding-planning site, helping with everything from wedding-reception service providers to online bridal registries, attracts more than 3 million unique monthly visitors.

Earnings are expected to chime in at $0.10 a share in its latest quarter. That's less than the $0.11 per share The Knot earned a year ago, but the company's working from higher tax rates and more shares outstanding (since acquiring The Wedding Channel) this time around.

Let's close out the trading week by taking a roller-coaster ride at Six Flags (NYSE: SIX  ) . The third quarter is the one time of year when the regional amusement-park operator is profitable. Attendance figures and per capita guest-spending amounts have been looking good so far this season, but Wall Street still sees a smaller profit from the company, given its investments in beefing up the guest experience.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

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