Things aren't always pretty out there, and we got a taste of that last week. The S&P 500 suffered a 0.4% decline, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was dealt a crushing 2.7% blow.
There are way too many companies out there posting lower quarterly profits and hosing down their near-term outlooks.
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
Resources Connection (NAS: RECN)
Yum! Brands (NYS: YUM)
Acuity Brands (NYS: AYI)
Costco (NAS: COST)
Marriott (NYS: MAR)
RPM (NYS: RPM)
International Speedway (NAS: ISCA)
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Resource Connection.
The business consultancy begins trading as part of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index this morning. Its bigger test comes tomorrow, when analysts see Resource Connection's profitability nearly doubling to $0.05 a share.
Yum! Brands has a hokey name, but it's the fast-food juggernaut behind the Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell chains. Yum! has been having noteworthy success overseas lately, as its KFC chicken joints continue to grow in popularity throughout China.
Acuity illuminates the market with its luminaires and lighting control systems. Acuity scored $1.6 billion in sales through its brands that include Peerless, Holophane, and Lithonia Lighting. The rub with Acuity is that it has actually missed Wall Street's bottom-line targets in each of its three previous quarterly reports.
Costco is the warehouse club giant where big bargains can be had for those who don't mind buying in bulk sizes inside a bare-bones warehouse building. CEO Jim Sinegal recently announced that he would be retiring come January, but Costco should continue to grow as an all-weather company.
Marriott is the lodging giant. Despite its improving profitability, shares of the hospitality heavy hit a fresh 52-week low last month. As a global behemoth, Marriott is exposed to the fallout of iffy global economies. Closer to home, many of Marriott's hotels rely on business travelers to fill vacancies, and the stateside economy isn't doing so hot either.
RPM steps up come Wednesday morning. RPM's business consists mostly of specialty coatings, sealants, and building materials. RPM has beaten Wall Street's estimates for five quarters in a row, so it has favorable momentum heading into Wednesday.
Finally, we have International Speedway, the motorsports promoter that also happens to operate the famous Daytona and Talladega speedways. Business slowed during the recession, with International Speedway posting nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines on the bottom line. Like many of the speedy cars on its speedways, the company has turned the corner this year. Wall Street feels that this will be International Speedway's third straight quarter of earnings growth.
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 Yum! Brands and Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Yum! Brands, Costco Wholesale, and International Speedway. 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 calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.