7 Reasons to Worry About Next Week

Judging by the next few days of earnings reports, the market isn't all peaches and cream.

The economy seems to be improving, yet plenty of companies will post lower year-over-year earnings. Let's go over a few of the pretenders expected to decline on the bottom line next week.

Company

Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA  )

$0.12

$0.15

MBIA (NYSE: MBI  )

($0.62)

$1.95

Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED  )

$1.17

$1.27

Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq: MYGN  )

$0.33

$0.37

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA  )

$0.10

$0.24

Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE: WEN  )

$0.05

$0.06

Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE  )

$0.23

$0.28

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Of the variety of companies set to post lower earnings next week, these are just a few of the names that really jump out at me.

Giant Interactive makes multiplayer Web-based games for Chinese kids. China's economy continues to expand, and several of Giant's rivals haven't had a problem growing in this welcome environment. Sadly, Giant has already posted year-over-year declines on the bottom line in each of its two previous quarters.

Municipal bond insurer MBIA was one of the first financial heavyweights to buckle during the debt crisis that triggered the recession. Investors who figured that MBIA was on the way back are bracing for red ink in Monday's report. MBIA's fiscal performance has been all over the map, posting healthy profits or massive deficits on a quarterly basis over the past couple of years.

Amedisys provides hospice and home health services. The company recently came under fire for its Medicare-reimbursement practices, and shareholders have been calling in sick. The stock has shed nearly half of its value so far this year.

Analysts see profitable molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics' bottom line slipping on Tuesday. The pros have been aiming too high lately. Myriad has missed Wall Street's profit expectations in two of the three past quarters.

True to its name, SunPower toils away in solar energy. Several of SunPower's peers have actually delivered growing levels of net income. Investors can no longer just assume that they are buying into the solar market by leaning on a single company, since the performance of the individual players has been all over the map.

Wendy's and Arby's have kept up with penny-pinching fast-food trends, rolling out dollar menus to compete against the Golden Arches. Giving thrifty diners more bang for their buck is a great strategy, as long as the chains can offset any margin hits by stocking up on premium-priced offerings. Wendy's/Arby's Group is trying, but the strategy doesn't seem to be working as well as it should.

Finally, we have Sara Lee. The company behind Ball Park hot dogs, Hillshire Farm sausages, and its namesake baked treats is suffering through the same profit-crunching problem that has befallen many brand-name titans. Supermarket shoppers are simply trading down to cheaper store brands, or just going with whatever is on sale. Discounting will naturally pressure profitability -- even though it's hard to bet against marquee grocer brands like Sara Lee.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These seven companies have seen better days. The market has rewarded many of these stocks with healthy gains over the past year, but they still haven't earned those upticks.

The good news here is that Wall Street already expects these companies to deliver shrinking bottom lines. In other words, the bad news is already baked into the shares.

The more I think about it, the less worried I become.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether his contrarian heart will ever be happy. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On August 06, 2010, at 1:27 PM, jrmart wrote:

    As the price of silicon comes down, First Solar, the thin film solar panel leader will continue to lose market share. Suntech confirms that thesis by just announcing a loss of $147 to $179 million due to charges paid to wind down 2 side experiments in thin solar panels. Why make less efficient thin film solar panels when crystalline panels sell for $1.85 a watt? There are really several important issues to consider when you install a solar system. Space requirements, installation requirements, cabling requirements and future maintenance requirements. SunPower is the leader in all of those areas and delivers the most efficient and powerful solar products on the planet, maximizing energy output and delivering more power than competitors in the same amount of space, whether on roof or land. SunPower also installs the most efficient and flexible roof products available. No other available solution performs better on space or weight constrained rooftops. Rooftop installations are non-penetrating, maintaining your roof’s integrity and ensuring that your roof warranty stays intact. Installation is fast and modular, allowing easy future movement for maintenance or site relocation without business interruption. These roof tiles are secure and wind-resistant up to 140 mph. Also in the Utility power plant area, SunPower® Trackers are the planet’s most powerful, offering the greatest power density per tracker or acre of land. They are modular, which means less wiring, provide quick installations and they also lower future maintenance costs. They occupy a much smaller footprint than conventional or thin-film solar energy systems while producing 30% more power. They also have a patented single-axis design, enabling a unique combination of high performance, scalability and simplicity. They require less land, concrete, steel and cabling per megawatt than competing ground systems. These are the reasons why SunPower has completely sold out all of their solar panels for 2010. Additionally, when you see a top level executive from SunPower buying thousands of SunPower B shares in the open market over the last several months, that's a good sign that the future of SunPower B shares will also shine bright.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2010, at 2:45 AM, Wormis wrote:

    Nice random plug of a completely unrelated company. Please post on their CAPS board and not here.

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