Investors probably didn't need last week's trouncing to remind them that things aren't perfect out there. The S&P 500 may have fallen 7% -- and the Nasdaq Composite plummeted 8% -- but signs of a weak economy are everywhere.
I went over several companies going the wrong way on Friday, 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.
Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)
Year-Ago Quarter EPS
GA Interactive (NYS: GA)
Universal Display (NAS: PANL)
Ebix (NAS: EBIX)
Nuance Communications (NAS: NUAN)
Disney (NYS: DIS)
NVIDIA (NAS: NVDA)
Sara Lee (NYS: SLE)
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with GA Interactive.
Giant Interactive reports tonight. One of China's leading web-based gaming companies has taken the success of ZT Online and grown it into a portfolio of Internet diversions. GA Interactive has had its ups and downs since going public four years ago. It may be on its way back up again, but its stock has spent the past three years trading in the single digits.
Universal Display is the patent-rich provider of organic light emitting device -- or OLED -- technologies. Universal Display is expected to post a loss later today, but it should be a narrower deficit.
Ebix is a leader in cloud-based enterprise solutions for the insurance industry. CEO Robin Raina recently addressed some of the short-seller knocks that have dinged the stock this year. At least the bottom line continues to move in the right direction, though barely at this point.
Nuance provides the voice-recognition technology that many companies use to provide phone support. Yes, I find those "please say what you need" prompts frustrating at times, too. It isn't all frustrating, though. Mac news site 9to5Mac reported over the weekend that Nuance will be powering the speech-to-text feature available in the iPhone's upcoming iOS update.
Disney may have slipped in its latest quarter, but we're now a good quarter away from its Mars Needs Moms cinematic dud. Cars 2 may not have been a critical success, but it was huge at the box office. Disney also has its steady ESPN business that is probably breathing a whole lot easier now that pro football is back.
NVIDIA makes graphic chips for computers, but it has successfully expanded into providing solutions for faster selling smartphones and tablets. Wall Street sees big things out of NVIDIA when it reports on Thursday, expecting earnings of $0.25 a share after mustering a profit of only $0.03 a share a year earlier.
Finally, we have Sara Lee on the table. We're not just talking about signature desserts here. Sara Lee is also the company behind State Fair corndogs, Hillshire Farms deli meats, and Ball Park franks. Some brand-name behemoths have suffered from cash-strapped grocery store shoppers gravitating to cheaper house brands, but the pros see Sara Lee's earnings more than doubling despite a double-digit top-line decline.
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 comment box below.
At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Ebix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nuance Communications, Ebix, Universal Display, NVIDIA, and Walt Disney, as well as writing puts in NVIDIA. 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, except for Ebix and Disney. 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.
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