After all of the partisan back and forth, the framework for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling but hack away at government spending seems to be in place.
We'll see how this plays out in the coming days and weeks, but it's clear that the uncertainty weighed down the stock market last week.
It wasn't the only anchor.
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 improvements on the bottom line.
Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)
Year-Ago Quarter EPS
|Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM )||$0.85||$0.69||Add|
|OpenTable (Nasdaq: OPEN )||$0.27||$0.15||Add|
|Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI )||$0.01||($0.01)||Add|
|MasterCard (NYSE: MA )||$4.22||$3.49||Add|
|priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN )||$4.87||$3.09||Add|
|World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE )||$0.24||$0.08||Add|
|Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG )||$0.82||$0.71||Add|
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top, with Archers Daniels Midland.
It's easy to see the agricultural giant growing. The global demand for seeds and other harvest-enhancing products is making Archers Daniels Midland pretty popular these days. Analysts see revenue kicking in with a hearty 30% surge to go along with robust bottom-line growth.
OpenTable has redefined the fine dining experience. Its high-tech electronic reservations book makes it easier for restaurants to manage tables and patron preferences. Foodies love OpenTable because its namesake website and app provide 24/7 access to dining reservations.
Sirius XM is the only game in town when it comes to satellite radio. Analysts see the media giant growing on its recent profitable turn, and investors will be tuning in to see if the broadcaster is willing to divulge information on its upcoming Sirius XM 2.0 platform or its likely price hike.
There are some things that money can't buy. For everything else, we have MasterCard's quarterly report on Wednesday. The swiped plastic marketer has held up well during the credit crunch, largely because it's a marketer and not an issuer of its signature cards. The competition is there. Even PayPal is hoping to make a bricks-and-mortar splash in the coming months. However, MasterCard continues to keep -- pardon the pun -- charging ahead.
Travel portals seem to be hit or miss for investors these days, but priceline.com has been the niche darling for a reason. It routinely beats Wall Street expectations, and it continues to grow as a popular source for travel deals and more traditional bookings.
World Wrestling Entertainment is no longer trying to convince fans that its grapplers are real. The word "entertainment" has been part of its moniker for several years now. The liberating move has freed the company to open up its storylines, but its bottom line has had its shares of ups and downs. The company still relies on pay-per-view broadcasts and live events to bring home the bacon, and we'll learn more about that come Thursday.
Finally, we have Procter & Gamble moving higher. The company behind Crest toothpaste, Pampers diapers, and countless other supermarket staples is expected to post a 15% uptick in per-share profitability for its latest quarter.
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.