Quarters. They grow up so fast sometimes.

It's been a pretty active week for a few of the stocks that I figured would be big fourth-quarter gainers. You may remember the four stocks that I singled out last week, pointing out how positive catalysts were looming in the upcoming quarter.

So far, so good.

9/28/07

10/3/07

% Gain

Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX)

67.25

66.79

(0.7%)

4Kids (NYSE:KDE)

17.59

19.60

11.4%

XM (NASDAQ:XMSR)

14.17

14.23

0.4%

TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO)

6.35

7.13

12.3%

You can't judge a quarter on the basis of three trading days, but it's a good place to start. And even though it seems as if Crocs and XM are just marking time, this is what I get for making these picks several days before the second quarter even ended.

Crocs has been on a tear since the article came out last Monday. The shares climbed 17.5% higher last week. I'm not bragging about that. In fact, I'm calling it a false start and making sure that all four stocks begin at the same starting line, Friday's close (the end of the third quarter).

So allow me to gloss past Crocs and XM for the moment, focusing on what's been moving the shares of 4Kids and TiVo this week instead. They're off to great starts as double-digit percentage gainers, and it's a good way to illustrate catalysts in action.

You say you want a TiVo-lution
With oral arguments set to begin today in DISH parent EchoStar's (NASDAQ:DISH) appeal in a patent dispute that was originally rewarded to TiVo, I figured that the only brand that matters in the DVR space would be volatile early in the quarter.

TiVo shares got a big boost yesterday, when American Technology Research analyst Jeff Schreiner noted that the company has a 60% chance of winning the case. Why not? It won the first time around, so the odds and history are in TiVo's favor.

The amount that's at stake isn't astronomical, relatively speaking. It's just $89.6 million. But winning the case will make more companies follow Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) lead and partner with TiVo instead of challenge the gray areas of TiVo's intellectual properties.

Schreiner feels the case is feast or famine. A victory can propel TiVo to as high as $13. A loss can find it barreling down to $4, its lowest price in more than two years. I think both extremes are a bit extreme, but it's safe to say that the stock will be fluctuating plenty over the next few days. 

Find a new catalyst for the 4Kids
I'll concede that my thesis behind 4Kids' having an explosive quarter was based entirely on the potential success of the Chaotic television show and related online game. The company joined TiVo as a big winner yesterday as an entirely new catalyst came into play: wider distribution.

4Kids has programmed a four-hour Saturday morning block on Fox for years. Starting next year, 4Kids will also take over a five-hour slot for The CW Network. These multiyear deals are win-win situations. It's 4Kids that fills it with programming from its growing inventory of licensed animated programming. It's also 4Kids that sells the advertising slots, sharing that revenue with the networks beyond guaranteed minimums.

Whether this means that 4Kids will license more properties or create more self-owned shows like Chaotic remains to be seen. One thing for sure is that 4Kids will be quite busy over the next few years. Now, I just have to see if the Chaotic trading cards and related online social network take off in time for the holidays.

A lot of quarter left
I won't rest on the laurels of three healthy trading days. Things I expect to go right can go wrong. The Crocs clothing line can be a flop. XM may be denied its merger with Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI). TiVo may lose its appellate court case. Chaotic may be a dud for 4Kids.

These are the things that can happen. If my hunches were market no-doubters, the stocks would have had those gains already baked into their prices.

It hasn't happened yet. Man, this quarter is going to take forever.

Stocks I've Foolishly singled out:

If you want to see what else Rick likes these days, you don't need a crystal ball. The Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service is more fortune than cookie. A 30-day free subscription is available if you want to get through the first third of the fourth quarter for free.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really would love getting those market-winner lists a quarter early. He does own shares in TiVo and 4Kids. 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.