The day that couch potatoes have been dreading arrives Thursday. The new monthly rates kick in for Netflix (NFLX) come September, which means some customers may be paying as much as 60% more for their flicks fix.
The move to increase rates for customers who want to stream video and receive discs by mail is Netflix's gutsiest gambit yet. It's banking on 22 million of its 25 million subscribers paying $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming by the end of September.
There was an uproar when Netflix originally announced its plans, but how many subscribers will stick it out and how many will seek out celluloid alternatives? September knows, but it's not telling.
Netflix's new rate debut isn't the only thing investors will be watching next week. Here's what else is on tap once Monday rolls around.
Tripping Down the Runway This Week
Fashion designer Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) and trendy accessories and gifts specialist Vera Bradley (VRA) report Tuesday. Both companies are expected to post healthy profits for the quarter, proving that even in hard economic times some shoppers are still more interested in the name on the label than the price.
If the retail bug is still biting after bagging those two reports, Zumiez (ZUMZ), DSW (DSW), and Charming Stores (CHRS) are also sashaying down the runway for their quarterly exhibitions.
You've probably heard of extreme sports specialist Zumiez and shoe discounter DSW. If Charming Stores doesn't ring a bell, maybe some of its plus-sized concepts -- including Lane Bryant and Catherines -- will jog your mall-strolling memory.
Throwing the Book at the Superstore
Now that Barnes & Noble (BKS) knows a buyout is no longer on the table, the last book superstore chain standing is going to have to write its own happy ending.
Tuesday's quarterly report won't be pretty. Analysts see Barnes & Noble delivering a sharp loss of $0.94 a share. Ouch! This is a seasonal business, but bankrolling its fledgling Nook e-reader apparently doesn't come cheap.
The upside here is that the bookseller posted an even larger deficit a year earlier. It's also likely that store sales will at least pick up temporarily once Borders completes the liquidation process, though it may be hard to compete with the rival's "going out of business" prices in the near term.
Check Out These Cards: A Look at Global Gambling's Hand
One of the more intriguing quarterly reports next week will be Wednesday's numbers out of Shuffle Master (SHFL).
Shuffle Master's biggest orders come from gaming parlors that feature cards. Shuffle Master also makes proprietary table games and electronic table systems.
Shuffle Master may not be all that big of a company. It saw its revenue climb 12% to just $201.3 million last year. However, its fine-tuned niche makes it a great proxy for the health of gambling on a global basis.
What's That Ticking Sound?
A generation ago, gently tapping your wrist was a silent request for someone else to provide you with the current time. These days, that same gesture may be interpreted as a carpal tunnel syndrome warning. Why? Well, folks just aren't wearing wristwatches the way they used to.
You can't blame the watchmakers. Folks just don't need an extra layer of bling when their phones display the time.
It's against this problematic backdrop that Movado Group (MOV) will chime in with its quarterly financials Thursday.
You wouldn't know that Movado's days are numbered judging by Wall Street expectations. Analysts see a small profit reversing a year-ago loss. They also project revenue to climb 13%. Maybe Movado has more time than we think.
1 More Thing
We've apparently seen the last of Steve Jobs' "one more thing" surprises during Apple (AAPL) presentations. As the world knows by now, the turtleneck-donning icon resigned Wednesday, and in a seamless transition his right-hand man Tim Cook was named the company's new CEO.
We know Apple's new CEO, but will he be able to replace Jobs? There are no meaty Apple powwows slated for next week. There is no pressure for Cook to make sure that he doesn't fumble the iPhone 5 rollout -- at least not until its likely release in October. However, the story is too juicy for the media to let go. Expect to read as many stories about Apple and its Jobs-less fate next week as you are right now.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Movado Group and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix and Apple; buying puts on Netflix; and creating a bull call spread position on Apple.