Coffee beans, movie screens, and game machines helped spark the week that was.

Java-dabba do
I've been sitting on this great Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) joke -- about the company having a mermaid as its logo because it doesn't have any legs -- but I can't seem to use it, as the company keeps producing strong quarter after strong quarter. The popular coffee chain kicked off fiscal 2005 in "cool beans" fashion with its December quarter earnings climbing by 30% on a 24% surge in revenue.

While Starbucks is making a major push overseas, it's not as if the company is running out of room to grow stateside: Domestic sales clocked in 23% higher. The world's addicted to Starbucks, and the company is now looking to earn between $1.15 and $1.17 this year. Yet that doesn't mean that its shares will be perpetually caffeinated. Selling now at just over 45 times fiscal 2005's profit targets, the market isn't going to put up with anything less than perfection. In fact, the stock got dinged earlier this month when it posted same store sales growth of "only" 8% for the month of December. So keep the Starbucks coffee handy. Investors will definitely want to stay awake with this one. I may get a chance to run with that mermaid joke yet.

Avoid rhymes with celluloid
Is Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) about to catch a break? While a bitter price war with rival DVD loanshark Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) and the potential entry of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have weighed heavily on the shares of the country's leading online disc rental specialist, it seems as if things may work out after all. While the company is projecting a loss during the current quarter, Netflix expects to turn a profit over the balance of 2005.

The company is looking to close out the year with 4 million subscribers to its service. With customer turnover at a historic low, the company is confident that it will be able to retain its core base of users while tacking on new converts to the convenience of mail-delivered DVDs. That will be a lot of red mailers being delivered around the country, and it will help the company continue to build its business -- with Amazon waiting on the sidelines (for now, anyway).

Start playing games
No one was expecting much out of the world's leading video game developer during a highly competitive holiday quarter. With Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) releasing Halo 2 and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) milking its Grand Theft Auto franchise with its latest installment, it wasn't going to be the layup for attention on the game rack like it was in 2003 for Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS). That's why simply producing third-quarter results that were in line with its previous year's showing was enough to trump Wall Street expectations and send shares of EA higher.

The company has proven to be a smart Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendation. Strength with its Need for Speed Underground 2 and FIFA 2005 releases led the way for the company, while sales of its Madden and Sims properties that were introduced earlier in the fiscal year continued to sell well. EA's clearly got game -- but something tells me that you already knew that.

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Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz sold the video game rights to his life's story, but the game always seems to be stuck on "continue." He does own shares in Netflix. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.