5 Dates for Savvy Investors to Circle in February

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The new year got off to a bad start with the major market exchanges moving slightly lower in January. Investors will be hoping that stocks in general will bounce back in February, but that’s not the only thing that the market will be keeping an eye on this month. Let’s check out some of the potentially market-shaping events that will take place in the coming weeks.

Feb. 10: Coca-Cola Earnings

The world’s largest beverage company pours out its latest quarterly results next week. It’s not going to be pretty. Coca-Cola (KO) has been suffering from years of declining soft drink sales in this country, and the rest of the world is also starting to cool off on carbonated beverages.

Coca-Cola isn’t giving up. It’s expanding into new beverage categories that aren’t going out of style, making big investments last year in energy drinks and coffee. The slide is likely to continue for now. Analysts see Coca-Cola posting a 2 percent decline in revenue with a slightly bigger fall in profitability.

Feb. 12: King Digital Earnings

King Digital Entertainment (KING) has been one of the bigger IPO disappointments of last year. The mobile gaming giant behind “Candy Crush Saga” went public at $22.50 in March, and it has gone on to shed more than a third of its value.

It probably didn’t help that its flagship game had peaked in popularity during the fall of 2012. King Digital is still generating a lot of money from the game. It’s also making waves with some of its newer games. However, the market’s been largely unimpressed. It reports quarterly results next week, giving it another chance to win back jaded investors.

Feb. 20: Jet Warehouse Club Opens

Many have assumed that (AMZN) will always be the king of the hill of online retail, but one potential challenger is starting to generate some buzz. will begin taking limited sign-ups on Feb. 20. It is setting itself up as a warehouse club model with folks paying $49.99 a year for the right to buy everything — from clothing to electronics to media — at prices lower than can be found elsewhere.

It’s an ambitious goal, but Jet’s turning heads because the founder already sold a company to Amazon. Marc Lore sold parent Quidsi to Amazon for $550 million in 2010, spending a couple of years at Amazon after that to learn its inner workings. Taking on Amazon has been a losing challenge in the past, but this long shot could be interesting.

Feb. 24: Hewlett-Packard Earnings

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has become the bellwether for the PC industry now that smaller rival Dell is privately held. HP has suffered with the digital and mobile revolutions. The mobile revolution has seen smartphones and tablets grow at the PC’s expense, and the digital revolution finds folks sharing photos and documents digitally without having to print them out on one of HP’s signature printers.

HP has expanded into software and other areas, but it hasn’t been enough. Revenue has fallen for three consecutive fiscal years, and later this month we’ll be checking out HP’s results for the fiscal first quarter of 2015.

Feb. 27: Third Season for ‘House of Cards’ on Netflix

Netflix (NFLX) roared to life last month after a blowout quarter, and a big reason that the premium video service will top 60 million global subscribers this quarter is its growing catalog of dynamic proprietary content. Its biggest original series so far has been “House of Cards,” and the third season of the critically acclaimed show returns at the end of the month.

These productions don’t come cheap, but they’re paying off for Netflix. The revitalized dot-com darling revealed during last month’s earnings call that original content is cheaper than the movies and TV shows that it’s licensing when divided by actual viewing time. In other words, Netflix may pay up for proprietary content, but it’s getting watched so much that it’s a better bargain than existing content.

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