Stocks were volatile last week as investors digested earnings reports from hundreds of companies and positive news about the strength of the U.S. economy. Both the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) held steady to stay near all-time highs.
Electronic Arts' battle royale
Electronic Arts will announce its results after the market closes on Tuesday, and investors have some good reasons to follow this report. The video game publisher is hoping to bounce back from what CEO Andrew Wilson called a "difficult quarter" last quarter, when net bookings, a measure of sales trends, declined 3%. EA struggled to establish a large-enough player base for its new Battlefield V release, and the company revealed a huge decline in mobile revenue due to spiking competition.
Wilson and his team were encouraged with wins in the FIFA 19 franchise and early gamer engagement from their latest entry into the popular battle royale genre, Apex Legends. Still, it will be interesting to learn on Tuesday whether EA sees these brands helping return the company to sales growth in fiscal 2020 after disappointing declines in the most recent fiscal year.
Disney stock has trounced the market so far in 2019, so investor expectations are high heading into its earnings report on Wednesday. The entertainment titan will update shareholders on the health of each of its divisions, but the media network segment will be a key focus as shareholders watch for more stabilization in the subscriber pool for ESPN and the broader pay-TV business.
Disney is likely to have good things to say about its film segment following the recent blockbuster launch for Avengers: End Game. But investors will be more interested in updates that CEO Bob Iger and his team issue on the major initiatives they're working on, including the integration of 21st Century Fox, the ESPN streaming app, and the Disney+ streaming service.
These direct-to-consumer offerings are already hurting earnings, and Disney+ is expected to produce significant losses through its launch. But Disney is hoping a strong release will give it a substantial and ultimately profitable distribution outlet for its huge trove of TV and film content.
Match Group's user base
Online-dating app specialist Match Group will post its results before the market opens on Wednesday. The stock is riding high this year following a well-received fourth-quarter report in early February. In that announcement, Match revealed that its subscriber base jumped 17%, to over 8 million, while average revenue per subscriber rose 4%. Operating margin slipped, though, as the company invested heavily in its growth initiatives.
CEO Mandy Ginsberg and her team have big aspirations to dominate the global dating marketplace, and Match's leading portfolio of apps puts it in a good position to do that. But the company faces challenges in expanding the popularity of dating apps in markets outside of the U.S. Thus, look for Ginsberg to spend time this week talking about how Tinder is winning with younger users at home and how those successes might translate into a wider user base in places like China, Latin America, and the Middle East.