Wall Street This Week: Focus on Target, Mobileye

From the “cheap chic” retailer looking to bounce back after a rough holiday quarter in 2013 to one of last year’s hottest initial public offerings trying to get back in the race on the promise of self-driving vehicles, here are some of the things that will help shape the week ahead on Wall Street.

Monday — Steak Your Claim

The new trading week kicks off with Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) reporting quarterly results. Back in the 1990s there were several publicly traded casual steakhouse chains, but these days there aren’t many beyond Texas Roadhouse.

Thankfully for investors, it’s one of the good ones. Expansion and comparable-restaurant sales growth have helped propel sales from $1 billion in 2010 to top $1.5 billion last year.

Tuesday — I Dreamed a Dream

DreamWorks Animation (DWA) will draw attention on Tuesday with its latest quarterly report. The country’s second-largest computer animation studio has dazzled moviegoers with the “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises, but it’s been struggling lately.

Things have gotten so bad that a rumor made the rounds late last year that Hasbro (HAS) was in talks to acquire the studio. The deal failed to materialize, of course, and last month we saw DreamWorks Animation retreating on news that it would be laying off 500 of its employees.

Wednesday — Hitting a Moving Target

It will be Target (TGT) stepping up with fresh financials on Wednesday morning. Naturally, it’s going to be a big deal for the cheap-chic discounter. This is the holiday quarter, and after seeing its sales drop a year earlier with the unfortunate checkout register hacking, the market will want to see if it can bounce back.

All eyes will also be on Target because of Walmart’s (WMT) decision last Thursday to boost its minimum hourly wage. If Target hasn’t responded by Wednesday, it’s a safe bet that the topic will come up during its conference call.

Thursday — Keep Your Hands Off the Wheel

Mobileye (MBLY) was one of last summer’s biggest stars after going public at $25. The stock peaked above $60 in October, but it has gone on to shed nearly half of its value since its frenzied top.

Mobileye is a leader in developing software for camera-based driver assistance platforms. For now, that translates into helping cars switch lanes or parallel-park with minimal driver input, but in the future we’re talking about a company that has the pole position for self-driving cars. Mobileye reports on Thursday. It’s been posting small profits on modest revenue since going public six months ago, but investors know that a bet on Mobileye is a wager on the future.

Friday — Francis is Back

The third season of “House of Cards” returns to Netflix (NFLX) on Friday. Some opportunistic subscribers got an early peek when the show became available on the streaming platform for a brief time earlier this month. Netflix quickly rectified the mistake.

The award-winning drama about politics and power helped put original programming on the map, and it’s a big reason that Netflix was the S&P 500’s (^GPSC), best performer in 2013 when the show debuted. With Netflix shares nearing new highs again, it’s safe to say that there’s plenty of hype in the show’s streaming availability.

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