October doesn't have to be a scary month, even if it ends with Halloween.
There will be plenty of market-shaping events taking place in October. Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open this month.
It's time to see if Google TV is all that it can be.
This will be the holiday season of set-top boxes, as features and functionality continue to improve. Can Logitech's box compete? Will it be priced ambitiously enough? Is it revolutionary, evolutionary, or already obsolete?
It's not all gloom and doom in the video game space. Electronic Arts
Clearly multiplayer military shooters that blend strategy with heavy artillery are one of the rare bright spots among gaming genres. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 broke the industry record for initial sales last November. If the pre-ordering hype behind EA's latest entry lives up to the reality at the other end of Oct. 12, both EA and the industry will have the hit they sorely need.
The tech bellwether that appears to do no wrong will step up to the earnings stage when Apple
There's plenty riding on the report. Between MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch devices, Apple continues to broaden its offerings -- and the quarter ended just as Apple TV was coming around.
Apple has consistently topped Wall Street profit targets for years. It shouldn't be any different this time around. Sure, analysts may seem aggressive in projecting $3.98 a share in net income for the quarter. It always seems that way. Don't believe it. Tech stocks would crater if that was all that Apple earned.
History repeats itself every three months in Cupertino.
It will be a celebratory day for celluloid when Netflix
The digital video and DVD specialist has been growing quickly, regardless of the economy. Just to get you up to speed, here are the questions where Netflix's answers will determine the stock's direction:
- Is the subscriber count growing much faster than revenue? This trend spooked investors earlier this year, indicating that members are trading down to cheaper plans.
- Is churn in check? With all of the money that Netflix is investing in beefing up its digital catalog, it would be crushing if it's not helping retain couch potatoes.
- How many of its 15 million subcribers -- and counting -- are streaming online? Netflix continues to gain ground digitally, with 61% of its subscribers taking advantage of the company's streaming service at no additional cost this past quarter. It will continue to inch higher. Will more than two-thirds of Netflix's base be streaming? It's an ambitious goal for October's report, but it's a fair target by year's end.
The debut of Microsoft's
Several sites were reporting that overseas events were being slated for Oct. 21. However, earlier this week, tech blog Engadget broke from the pack -- announcing that there would be a Microsoft media event in London on Oct. 11. Then again, the event 10 days earlier may simply be building up to the actual release a week and a half later.
Either way, Microsoft will have lived up to its goal of an October launch. If it somehow misses the mark, it knows that it will get grilled by analysts when it reports quarterly results on Oct. 28.
Is Microsoft too late? Apple, Research In Motion
Microsoft has so many places it can go with this -- but all roads go uphill.
What will you be looking forward to this month? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple, Electronic Arts, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Logitech International is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems choice. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing a covered strangle position on Logitech International and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, Logitech International, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz told you to wake him up when September ends. Now he's overslept. 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.