5 Things to Watch This Week: Groupon, Gamers, Doughnuts, Rentals, and Satellite Radio
There's never a dull moment on Wall Street, especially when new tablets and old banks are in the way. Let's go over some of the items that will help shape the week ahead once Monday rolls around.
1. You can finally get your Groupon: After a dizzying few months of iffy accounting and plenty of ups and downs on the roller coaster we call hype, the country's leading daily deals website is finally going public.
Groupon is in the middle of its road show right now, hoping to woo institutional investors to snap up the freshly minted shares. The flash sale website had to settle for a smaller deal than the one that could have valued the company at $20 billion -- and possibly even $30 billion. Groupon will likely go public valued closer to $11 billion.
As the plans stand now, Groupon should price its IPO Thursday night. It will begin trading -- under the ticker symbol "GRPN" -- a week from today.
2. Stealing cars and taking names: Die-hard gamers will soon have a new reason to save up another $60. Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) is promising to unveil a new trailer for Grand Theft Auto V on Wednesday.
Previous installments of Take-Two's violent and controversial car-jacking series have been big sellers, but Take-Two hasn't said much about a follow-up to 2008's then-record-breaking Grand Theft Auto IV.
The new game isn't likely to hit stores anytime soon. This holiday shopping season will be all about Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 literally battling it out for 2011 supremacy. However, a Grand Theft Auto V trailer is an indication that the game is well along in its development. An actual release date may accompany Wednesday's trailer release.
3. It's time to make the dough-nuts: Dunkin' Donuts parent Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) went public this summer. It posted its first quarterly report as a public company the week after its IPO, and now it's time for its second quarterly chance at wooing investors.
Dunkin' has been one of the rare debutantes to hold up this year. Shares of the company behind the namesake doughnuts and its equally famous coffee are trading roughly 50% higher than its $19 IPO price from late July.
Dunkin' hit the market hoping to expand its presence on the West Coast. It also only helped that premium coffee stocks have been percolating this year. Smaller rival Krispy Kreme (KKD) continues to trade in the single digits, but that's about the only cloud hovering over Dunkin's rookie season.
4. It's a rental so floor it: This is the way the rental car bidding war ends, not with a bang but with anti-lock brakes.
The 18-month sale of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG) ended in uninspiring fashion earlier this month: Avis Budget (CAR) backed out, leaving Hertz (HTZ) with a lowball offer that Dollar Thrifty wasn't interested in accepting.
In short, all three companies will be driving their separate ways.
We will get a better snapshot of the industry after all three agencies report next week. Dollar Thrifty and Hertz report Tuesday. Avis Budget follows on Wednesday.
If you're bored with the conventional auto rental market, car-sharing leader Zipcar (ZIP) is also reporting its quarterly financials Wednesday. Zipcar rents cars that are conveniently parked in densely popular areas by the hour. Gas and insurance -- typically profit centers for the old-school rental chains -- are included.
Zipcar is growing at a brisk pace as the asset-sharing model continues to evolve, but profitability has been the problem. We'll find out how close Zipcar is to turning a consistent profit after its report.
5. Satellite radio tunes up: Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) rolled out its first Sirius XM 2.0 satellite receiver last week. The new receiver gives listeners about two dozen more stations to choose from. It's the latest move by the satellite radio giant to make sure that it stays on top in the premium radio market.
The dashboard is getting crowded, especially now that more cars are rolling off the lot with seamless access to Pandora (P), iHeartRadio, and other streaming smartphone apps. Sirius XM is hoping that it can continue to grow its impressive subscriber base -- and build on its recent profitability -- by perpetually improving its product.
Sirius XM reports on Tuesday morning, and Wall Street is holding out for a slightly larger profit than what the media company mustered a year earlier. Tune in to see how that plays out.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Zipcar. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hertz Global Holdings, Zipcar, and Take-Two Interactive Software. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Take-Two Interactive Software and Zipcar.