7 Reasons Not to Worry This Week

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The market needed a break from the brutal summer correction, and got it last week.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq notched gains of 4%, 5%, and 6%, respectively. Apparently equities didn't fall apart even after Steve Jobs' shocking resignation.

It's not all perfect, though. On Friday, I went over several companies going the wrong way, projected to post lower quarterly earnings this week than they did a year ago.

Thankfully, they're the exceptions and not the rule. Let's go over some publicly traded companies that are expected to stand tall this week by posting year-over-year improvement on the bottom line.

Company

Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

My

Watchlist

Prospect Capital (NAS: PSEC) $0.36$0.25Add
Barnes & Noble (NYS: BKS) ($0.94)($1.02)Add
DSW (NYS: DSW) $0.63$0.52Add
Joy Global (NAS: JOYG) $1.52$1.13Add
Oxford Industries (NYS: OXM) $0.52$0.44Add
Shuffle Master (NAS: SHFL) $0.15$0.13Add
Zumiez (NAS: ZUMZ) $0.05($0.02)Add

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Prospect Capital. Investors are drawn to the mezzanine finance and private equity firm for its juicy 13.7% yield. A dividend is only as sustainable as a company's earnings power, so it's good to see Prospect Capital's bottom line moving in the right direction.

Don't kid yourself into thinking that Barnes & Noble is going to post a meatier profit tomorrow. The bookseller is simply likely to post a narrower deficit than it did a year earlier. There may be nothing to celebrate about a $0.94 per share quarterly loss, but it will mean something if it means that the superstore's Nook is moving closer to profitability.

DSW is the footwear retailer that offers low-end designer shoes at warehouse prices. Selling cheap pumps isn't necessarily a slam dunk, even in this iffy climate. Competitor Collective Brands, which is the parent of Payless ShoeSource, revealed last week that soft customer traffic is leading it to close hundreds of stores. DSW aims for a slightly better-off clientele, and that appears to be making a difference.

Joy Global is an obvious name on this list. Despite its cheeky name, Joy Global makes mining equipment. Have you seen the prices for metals and mined commodities lately? Joy Global should continue to do well in this kind of environment.

Beyond its namesake golfer clothing, Oxford Industries also watches over tropical shirt maker Tommy Bahama and several other sporty yet fashionable clothing lines. Oxford blew past Wall Street's targets last time out, and it's positioned well to do so again.

Shuffle Master makes automatic card shufflers and other table game gear that are popular with casino operators. There are enough gaming opportunities abroad to help overcome the generally lackluster growth of the industry domestically.

Finally, we have Zumiez. Shares of the extreme-sports apparel and footwear retailer slipped off the skateboard earlier this month after posting weaker than expected comparable-store sales growth for the month of March. July also just happened to be the final month in the fiscal quarter that Zumiez will discuss come Wednesday, but the pros still see the chain reversing a year-ago deficit with a profit.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these seven stocks have a right to be excited. They are all improving their financial situations. They are worthy of the gains that the market rally has bestowed upon them over the past year.

I wouldn't be uncomfortable owning any of these companies. They're doing the right thing, regardless of Mr. Market's mood swings. The expectations may be high, but these seven stocks wouldn't have it any other way.

Are you a buyer or a seller of stocks these days? Share your strategy in the comments box below.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Oxford Industries. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Zumiez. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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