5 Reasons Not to Worry This Week

It's not a perfect world out there for investors.

Don't take Friday's sharp market sell-off as a fluke. There were a lot of disappointing quarterly reports last week, and this week will be ripe with some implosions of its own.

I recently went over some of the companies that are expected to post lower quarterly profits when they report this week.

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



Western Digital (NAS: WDC)




VMware (NYS: VMW)




Akamai (NAS: AKAM)




Apple (NAS: AAPL)








Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Western Digital.

Making hard drives may seem to be a hard life these days. Aren't folks buying fewer PCs now? Well, not so fast. Western Digital still shipped a whopping 71 million hard drives in its previous quarter, and the company also is a player in the more nimble solid-state drive market.

If you want more proof that Western Digital is bucking the trend, check out where Wall Street is perched. The pros see profitability more than doubling on a 48% pop in revenue.

It gets better. Over the past year, Western Digital has blown through analysts' income forecasts. It hasn't even been close, with the storage specialist besting bottom-line prognostications by 15%, 113%, 59%, and 36%, respectively, over the past four quarters.

VMware is another speedster that has been routinely outsmarting the analyst community. The virtualization software giant is also four-for-four over the past year, though VMware's beats have been more modest. It hasn't surpassed expectations by more than 10% in any of its four previous quarters.

Then again, VMware doesn't need to beat Wall Street's profit target to land well ahead of where it was a year ago.

Akamai may be a surprising name on this list. The country's largest content-delivery network helps companies serve up faster streams, downloads, and website pages. This was starting to seem like a cutthroat niche a couple of years ago, especially when desperate smaller rivals were willing to take big hits just to land new accounts. The market is still competitive, but there's just so much demand out there that everybody with a server farm is busy these days.

Apple is no stranger to this list. The world's most valuable tech company has been delivering monstrous growth for years. This should be another solid quarter for Apple, especially since it was able to introduce the iPhone 5 just weeks before the period came to a close.

It's understandable if even bulls are worried this time, though. Apple came up short in its previous quarterly outing. It also doesn't help that iPod sales have been declining and Mac sales have stalled. Is there enough juice in the company's booming iPad and iPhone lines to keep this great growth story going? Analysts seem to think so. They see Apple increasing its revenue and earnings by 28% and 25%, respectively, this quarter.

Finally, we have IMAX. The provider of super-sized theatrical experiences is in a problematic industry. Box office receipts fell last year, and 2012 isn't shaping up to be any better. The silver lining in IMAX's silver screen is that folks are still willing to pay a premium to see Hollywood blockbusters on its sensory-awakening platform. There's also international growth working in IMAX's favor as China, Russia, and other countries begin embracing IMAX makeovers of their tired multiplex screens.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these five 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 five stocks wouldn't have it any other way.

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The article 5 Reasons Not to Worry This Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Imax, VMware, and Western Digital. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Akamai Technologies, Imax, and VMware. 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.

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