The Fool's Look Ahead

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) checks in to start the new trading week. The purveyor of all things Mac, iPod, and iPhone should deliver another quarter of healthy growth. Analysts are looking for earnings to climb 17% to $1.08 a share. Strong MacBook and iPhone sales helped propel results for the most recent quarter, so investors may want to keep an eye on the surprisingly stagnant iPod growth. Just keep in mind that those shiny new iPhones do double as iPods.

Surgical robots weren't sexy until Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG  ) made the cut. The company's da Vinci robotic arm is becoming a popular appliance in the operating room. Wall Street expects Intuitive's bottom line to rise by 49% to $1.18 a share. If you think that's ambitious, it bears noting that both Apple and Intuitive Surgical have walloped quarterly projections consistently over the past few years.

This day was made for growth stock investors, as (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) , and Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG  ) step up to the earnings stage. Online retail, Chinese search engines, and hefty burritos have little in common, but all three companies are clearly the best at what they do. How well that translates into actual profitability remains to be seen.

You know Southwest (NYSE: LUV  ) : It's the profitable airline. However, even the no-frills carrier is struggling with skyrocketing jet fuel prices. Mr. Market believes that Southwest will post net income of just $0.12 a share for the quarter, roughly half what it earned a year ago.

You won't see red on Friday, unless you happen to be staring at a Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) mailer. The DVD rental specialist is projected to announce a second-quarter profit of $0.40 a share. That would be a record showing from the company.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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