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Earnings Watch: All of Wall Street’s pandemic weirdness is about to be on display

Wall Street has gotten weird during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all of that weirdness is about to be on full display.

Let’s start with meme stocks. Can we interest you in the earnings of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
AMC,
-2.42%

on Monday afternoon? The theater chain’s valuation has exploded from less than $1 billion to as much as $28 billion this year after being adopted by investors who gather on Reddit, and it now faces new mask mandates in some areas and renewed reticence to release new films into theaters.

See: After ‘Black Widow’ fails to lift AMC stock, retail traders try to become their own ‘Avengers’

How about special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, which have exploded into prominence in the past year? Got plenty of those, including three founded by “The Pied Piper of SPACs,” Chamath Palihapitiya, that will divulge results after his first completed SPAC merger, Virgin Galactic Inc.
SPCE,
+5.84%
,
reported last week and launched sales of space-tourism tickets. Health-care software company Clover Health Investments Corp.
CLOV,
-0.37%

and real-estate platform Opendoor Technologies Inc.
OPEN,
+0.21%

report on Wednesday afternoon, while financial-technology company SoFi Technologies Inc.
SOFI,
+4.05%

reports earnings for the first time as a public company on Thursday afternoon.

For more: SPACs aren’t dead, but they don’t look too healthy

Electric-vehicle companies that are trying to be the next Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-2.17%

are also on the agenda. One of the most controversial of the bunch, Lordstown Motors Inc.
RIDE,
-1.00%
,
will reveal earnings Wednesday for the first time since dumping its chief executive and chief financial officer amid scrutiny. Nio Inc.
NIO,
-3.86%
,
a Chinese electric car maker, will report on the same day.

Opinion: The Tesla bubble is a new version of the dot-com boom

Highly valued Chinese tech startups? Well, have you ever heard of KE Holdings Inc.
BEKE,
-6.41%

? The Zillow Group Inc.
ZG,
-6.40%

of China in 2020 became only the second Chinese company to raise more than $2 billion from China since Alibaba Group Holding Inc.
BABA,
-1.45%
,
but has seen its valuation plummet amid a crackdown in China. The other company to score $2 billion between Alibaba and KE — iQiyi Inc.
IQ,
-3.11%
,
the Netflix Inc.
NFLX,
-0.83%

of China — will report on Wednesday afternoon along with KE.

KE Holdings and iQiyi: A tale of two $2 billion Chinese IPOs headed in very different directions

Companies left for dead during by the pandemic by everybody except a hardy bunch of investors willing to take big risks? Well, there is Hertz Global Holdings Inc.
HTZZ,
-0.48%
,
which went bankrupt when everyone stopped traveling and renting cars but discovered a ton of speculators willing to bet on it despite admitting the shares were likely worthless. Those investors were rewarded after the company exited bankruptcy, and Hertz now can show off returns from heavily increased prices as rental cars are scarce.

Cryptocurrency has been the biggest investment news to you during the pandemic, you say? Well then, we give you Coinbase Global Inc.
COIN,
+1.08%
,
the cryptocurrency holder and website that will hold its first earnings report as a public company on Tuesday, after a wild ride for crypto during the second quarter.

And then there is a bunch of plain old highly valued post-IPO companies that joined a record wave of initial offerings during the pandemic. Two of 2020’s largest offerings, Airbnb Inc.
ABNB,
-0.22%

and DoorDash Inc.
DASH,
+0.13%
,
report Thursday afternoon to show the current state of home-sharing and the gig economy, respectively. Palantir Technologies Inc.
PLTR,
-3.11%
,
which performed a big direct listing late last year and has won its own fans on Reddit, reports Thursday morning. Unity Software Inc.
U,
-2.96%
,
which provides software and monetization assistance to the booming videogame sector, reports Thursday afternoon.

Don’t miss: Behind the scenes of Unity’s unique IPO in the middle of a pandemic

Just on Wednesday, there is a spectacular collection of special reports from freshly public companies in addition to Lordstown, KE Holdings and the Chamath SPACs. Included in that list are online-dating company Bumble Inc.
BMBL,
+1.67%
,
hot fintech company Marqeta Inc.
MQ,
-0.94%
,
celebrity-backed alternative-food company Laird Superfood Inc.
LSF,
-0.99%
,
and erectile-disfunction specialist and regular podcast advertiser Hims & Hers Health Inc.
HIMS,
+0.49%

So sit back and get ready for a parade of pandemic payouts to strut their stuff on the earnings stage this week. Even if the results don’t match up to the valuations, it should be fun to watch.

The calls to put on your calendar

The Walt Disney Co.
DIS,
+0.24%

The biggest traditional name on the week’s earnings docket, Disney earnings arrive amid a public fight with one of the biggest movie stars around, Scarlett Johanssen. Disney earnings calls are usually fun, as executives drop jewels about future Marvel movies and theme-park attractions, but the fun may be sucked out of this one by talk of how to properly compensate stars as movie distribution changes and plans for reactions to the current spreading Delta variant of COVID-19. Either way, the information will be important, so tune in.

AMC. The theater chain has leaned in to its status as a meme stock, with the CEO adopting the language and verve of his young retail investors and offering them freebies for their devotion. With mask mandates spreading and movies potentially being delayed again amid fears of the Delta variant, it may be time for a more difficult conversation about the road ahead, however.

The numbers to watch

eBay Inc.’s gross merchandise volume. Results from Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
-0.92%

and Etsy Inc.
ETSY,
-2.22%

have concerned e-commerce investors, and eBay
EBAY,
-2.66%

could follow that trend this week. The company’s gross merchandise volume, or GMV, has received a boost during the pandemic from people shopping at home and getting into collectibles like baseball cards, but analysts believe that trend could be falling apart a bit. Look for eBay’s GMV and its forecast for signs that consumers are logging off and heading back to bricks-and-mortar retailers before most of those traditional retailers report earnings in the coming weeks.

This week in earnings

After more than 300 of the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.17%

components reported in the past two weeks, the smaller companies not yet included in large indexes are wresting control of the earnings stage this week. Only 12 S&P 500 components are expected to report in the coming week, according to FactSet, with only one Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.41%

component on the calendar, Disney.

S&P 500 reports

Monday: Air Products and Chemicals Inc.
APD,
+0.73%
,
Dish Network Corp.
DISH,
+0.31%
,
Tyson Foods Inc.
TSN,
+1.40%
,
Viatris Inc.
VTRS,
+2.30%

Tuesday: CF Industries Holdings Inc.
CF,
+2.21%
,
Steris PLC
STE,
+0.35%
,
Sysco Corp.
SYY,
+0.54%
,
TransDigm Group Inc.
TDG,
+0.73%

Wednesday: eBay, Perrigo Co. PLC
PRGO,
+1.60%

Thursday: Disney, Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
BR,
-0.32%

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