Cheer up, kid.

I may have gone over seven companies that are expected to post lower earnings this week on Friday, but not every report we see is going to be a sinkhole. Despite the turbulent economy, there are actually several companies looking to post higher earnings -- or at the very least narrowing losses.

Once again, I have a table and I'm not afraid to set it.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)






BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ)






Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL)


($0.59) (NASDAQ:NTES)



GameStop (NYSE:GME)



Source: Yahoo! Finance and AOL Money and Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top. Medtronic is in a somewhat recession-resistant industry. Necessary medical procedures can't be put off. Health-care reform may eventually tweak the sector's all-weather appeal, but it's not a factor right now.

TJX and BJ's are value-based retailers. Whether we're talking about BJ's chain of wholesale clubs or TJX's flagship concepts like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, folks are seeking out bargains. Stretching a buck's value isn't always a bottom-line winner. If discounters are pressed to take steep markdowns, naturally, it will affect margins. TJX and BJ's, though, are expected to do just fine.

Intuit is more than just a software company. Its tax and accounting programs beg for annual updates. There is seasonality because of tax season, but the year-over-year reports are usually pretty dependable. If anything, analysts have a way of underestimating Intuit's power. It has topped Wall Street's profit targets in 14 of the past 15 quarters. 

Toll Brothers is a luxury homebuilder with a healthier balance sheet than most of its peers. It may take a few more quarters -- or even years -- before real estate developers are profitable again, but Toll Brothers is one of the many giants posting narrower losses. It's a good start.

NetEase is one of China's leading online gaming companies. The country's youth is flocking to multiplayer role-playing games, and NetEase's Fantasy Westward Journey remains a star attraction. The market is skeptical. Stocks in this niche are trading at insanely low profit multiples.

Then we have GameStop, the small-box retailer that specializes in video games. I have been critical of the company's long-term prospects, but it has been able to cash in nicely as video-game hardware and software sales grow.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
These seven companies may not deliver amazing reports. Toll Brothers is still posting losses. The competitive landscape for online gaming in China is bound to get fierce as more players swan-dive into this high- margin area.

In short, these aren't cakewalks.

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

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

Some other reads to get you through the week:

GameStop is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection and NetEase is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. 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.