It's not a perfect world out there for investors.
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)
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Hain Celestial.
The company distributes a wide line of natural foods. Organics are all the rage these days, and Hain Celestial is there with everything from soy milks to the popular Celestial Seasonings tea line. We've seen comps climbing at organic-supermarket chains for nearly two years, and Hain Celestial has been hopping along for the ride.
Throw in Hain Celestial's track record of making smart acquisitions of upstart natural-food companies it can expand to a broader audience, and you have a winning recipe that has seen Hain Celestial more than double off of last year's summertime lows.
PacSun is a company that lives for summer, but the retailer of swimwear and other sporty apparel has seen better days. PacSun's been trading in the single digits for more than four years. However, analysts do see the company posting a narrowing deficit this time around, so at least it's moving in the right direction.
Qihoo 360 is the company behind China's leading Internet browser. The company also provides a popular antivirus program. Qihoo 360 has routinely beaten analyst estimates, but investors are generally gun-shy when it comes to Chinese growth stocks that have been the subject of stateside short-seller attacks.
Prospect Capital turns heads for its 11% yield, but business development companies are not without their risks. Thankfully, earnings growth doesn't appear to be a problem with Prospect Capital, which is expected to earn more than enough in Wednesday's report to cover its next quarterly dividend.
Finally, we have salesforce.com moving higher. It isn't a surprise to see the cloud-computing darling growing. Offering companies a cost-effective alternative to traditional enterprise software has paid off with client gains and market-thumping returns. Wall Street's betting that earnings will soar 30% to $0.39 a share in Thursday's report.
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 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.