The new trading week kicks off with drugstore chain Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) checking in. Filling prescriptions and peddling essentials aren't glamorous things, but business is steady. Analysts see earnings climbing 7% higher to $0.59 a share. Consistency doesn't always translate into predictability, though. Thankfully for shareholders, Walgreen has beaten Wall Street's profit targets in six of the past seven quarters. 

If you've dined at a Red Lobster or Olive Garden lately, Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) may be talking about you on Tuesday. The casual-dining giant reports on its fiscal fourth quarter but should also shed a little light on the state of consumer trends and the impact of rising commodity food costs.

A few tech bellwethers report on Wednesday, including Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT). Yes, whether it's enterprise software, smartphones, or open-source software you're into, some company will have something to say.

It's payday on Thursday if you're Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX). Mr. Market sees the payroll-processing specialist growing its profits to $0.38 a share, after last year's $0.36-per-share showing. Analysts are usually on top of this company. Over the past 10 quarters, guesstimates have been within a penny per share of actual bottom-line results.

You can go home again, unless you're a homebuilder. Real estate developers have turned in some pretty gruesome reports lately, so cross your fingers and clench your nose when KB Home (NYSE: KBH) reports on Friday. The company has posted four consecutive quarters of huge losses. Let's see whether KB is still a broken home.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look forward. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.