How is your world holding up these days?

On Friday, I went over seven companies that are expected to post lower earnings this week. Today, I'm back with the silver linings. Despite the rocky economic climate, there are actually several companies looking to post higher earnings this week than they did during the same quarter a year ago -- or at least narrowing losses.

Once again, let me lay it all out for you:

Company

Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP)

$0.21

$0.20

Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN)

$0.91

$0.76

Fluor (NYSE:FLR)

$0.93

$0.75

Mindray Medical (NYSE:MR)

$0.25

$0.23

MBIA (NYSE:MBI)

($0.33)

($3.01)

CA (NYSE:CA)

$0.29

$0.22

Tidewater (NYSE:TDW)

$1.98

$1.63

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start with Ctrip and Priceline. The two companies run popular travel portals, though there are reasons why they are holding up better than their lesser peers. Ctrip is China's leading travel site, so it's a direct play on the country's booming interest in leisure and corporate travel.

Since you've probably seen plenty of the William "The Negotiator" Shatner ads, you know that Priceline sets itself apart as the "name your own price" site. At a time when distressed hoteliers, airlines, and car rental agencies are trying to unload excess capacity, savvy Internet users know they can get some serious bargains these days. Priceline also offers a more conventional booking site, but the one-two punch continues to serve it well.

You may think that Priceline is headed for a bumpy landing given Mr. Market's lofty expectations, but keep in mind that the company has topped Wall Street's profit estimates in 11 consecutive quarters.

Fluor is one of the highest-rated stocks in Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,102 fellow Fools rating it as a market beater and just 37 betting on the stock to underperform. The engineering and construction giant should be posting refreshing results on Tuesday.

Like Ctrip, Mindray Medical is also based in China. Instead of booking trips, the company is a global provider of imaging systems, patient monitoring and life support products, and in-vitro diagnostic products to the health care industry.

Don't hold your breath for a profit out of MBIA. Sure, the most upbeat of analysts expects a profit out of the bond insurer, but the consensus here is that MBIA will simply post a narrower loss than it did a year ago. That's enough, for now.

CA develops IT management software, making it one of the few enterprise software companies that Larry Ellison hasn't bought up.

Finally, we have New Orleans-based Tidewater, with its offshore energy fleet of 400+ vessels. Yes, even with oil prices under pressure, Tidewater is supposed to coast along in its latest quarter.  

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
These seven companies may not deliver amazing reports. Priceline's rivals have delivered disappointing results. It's hard to be too comfortable with enterprise software in a climate that dictates lower payroll and IT expenditures. We don't know if we've seen the last of the bond insurance minefields.

These seven companies have more pressure on them than the seven companies I singled out on Friday. They are the ones that are expected to post improved results. The optimism is already baked into their share prices.

Then again, just because the news is expected to be good doesn't mean that it's not welcome when it shows up.

Some other reads to get you through the week:

Mindray Medical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Priceline.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Ctrip.com International is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Mindray Medical. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if his contrarian heart will ever be happy. 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.