The first complete trading week of 2008 begins with Lawson Software (Nasdaq: LWSN) reporting its second-quarter results. Analysts expect earnings for the enterprise software developer to more than double to $0.08 a share. The goal may seem lofty, but the trend is Lawson's friend: The company has beaten market expectations in each of the past three quarters.

Apollo Group
(Nasdaq: APOL), the Web-based company behind the University of Phoenix, is projected to post an 11% increase in quarterly profitability. Earning more than the $0.73 a share that Wall Street is banking on would send Apollo to the head of the class, especially because it has lapped expectations just once in the three previous quarters.

I ate at a recently remodeled Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) last week. I could barely recognize the place, given the stylish makeover. Either way, I guess there's a good reason for the interior design and menu tweaks. The market is braced for an uncharacteristic loss from the casual dining chain for the quarter.

Shuffle Master
(Nasdaq: SHFL) is trying to play its way out of the crummy hand it dealt itself. The pros see Shuffle Master, a maker of automatic card shufflers and other casino equipment, earning $0.10 a share for the fourth quarter on Thursday, but that is roughly half what it earned a year ago.

We close out the week with Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR) reporting. The Canadian provider of several consumer communication services is pegged to post a 26% drop in quarterly profits, earning $0.25 a share. The company launched The Christmas Tree Channel heading into last month's holidays. Now let's see if it has enough left over to fill the stockings.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Shuffle Master is a Stock Advisor recommendation. A free 30-day trial will get your trading week started right -- and bright. 

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look forward. 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.