5 Reasons Not to Worry This Week

It's not a perfect world out there for investors, but things may be starting to get better.

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.

Company

Latest-Quarter EPS (estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU  )

$1.29

$0.92

Pacific Biosciences (NASDAQ: PACB  )

($0.37)

($0.42)

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI  )

$0.02

$0.01

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR  )

$0.65

$0.60

Cytokinetics (NASDAQ: CYTK  )

($0.11)

($0.16)

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Baidu. China's leading search engine has been under fire in recent months. A new homegrown search engine is starting to make waves in the world's most populous nation. Baidu still commands roughly two-thirds of the search requests in China, but investors are understandably concerned. Baidu's ability to attract advertisers paying top dollar for leads relies on the company's traffic and its breadth.

Despite the headwinds, analysts are still holding out for healthy growth when Baidu reports tonight. The dot-com speedster is expected to come through with a 40% spike in earnings. Skeptics will counter that Wall Street is being generous, but history isn't on the side of the naysayers here. Baidu has beaten analyst estimates in each of the past 15 quarters.

We're still early in 2013, but Pacific Biosciences of California has been on a tear this year. After several rough years, the DNA sequencing specialist is trading 48% higher year to date. PacBio was trading even higher last month after the FDA announced a new study based on the company's sequencing technology.

Pacific Biosciences is still losing money, but it's expected to post a slightly narrower deficit when it reports tomorrow.

Sirius XM reports tomorrow morning.The satellite radio provider has no problem attracting a crowd. Sirius XM is routinely one of Nasdaq's most actively traded stocks by share volume. It's also a magnet for naysayers, and as of mid-January Sirius XM had its highest level of shares sold short since 2011.

Sirius XM did report some of its metrics last month. We know all about its initial guidance for 2013, and we also know that the company had a strong close to 2012. Sirius XM closed out the year with 23.9 million users, and that's a healthy 2 million more users -- paying more per premium account -- than it had when the year began.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is another interesting name. Shares of the company behind the Keurig single-cup brewing system were grounded through late 2011 and early 2012 on fears of its K-Cup patent expiring this past fall. There were also plenty of cynical questions about the company's accounting and the model's viability.

Green Mountain hasn't silenced all of the skeptics, but the shares have nearly tripled in value since bottoming out this past summer. The stock closed on Friday at its highest levels since May of last year, and that's the kind of rally that will naturally need a strong showing out of the brew master on Wednesday to sustain and build on its recent gains.

Finally, we have Cytokinetics reporting this week. The small biotech upstart's lead drug candidate is a cardiac muscle contractility program that's in phase 2 clinical development for the potential treatment of heart failure. Young biotechs can be volatile, and Cytokinetics spent the latter half of last year trading below $1. That was enough to fall out of compliance with Nasdaq's listing requirements, but the shares bounced back to regain compliance without forcing Cytokinetics to consider a reverse stock split.

Another trait that's common in fledgling biotechs is a lack of profitability, and Cytokinetics fits the bill there, too. Thankfully, analysts are holding out for a loss of just $0.11 a share this time around. The promising biotech had a shortfall of $0.16 a share during the same quarter a year earlier.

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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