The market's still rocking and rolling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally joined the other major market indices last week in scoring positive year-to-date gains.

The brutal contrast to the buoyant market, unfortunately, is that earnings reports haven't exactly sent their RSVP to the party. In fact, many of the prolific companies posting their quarterly results this week are expected to post lower earnings than they did a year earlier.

When you combine higher stock prices with lower earnings, the "high-P/E cocktail" may be a tough one for Mr. Market to swallow. Investors are likely to find it frustrating, too.

Thankfully, there are still some companies growing their bottom lines, even in this crummy economic climate. Let's go over seven publicly traded companies that are expected to stand tall this week. 


Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY)



FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS)






Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)



Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ:CPST)



Casella Waste Systems



A-Power Energy (NASDAQ:APWR)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top. There may yet be joy in Mudville after Casey's steps up to the plate tonight. The discounting retailer is projected to boost its profitability by nearly 30% this quarter. And why not? Shoppers are looking for bargains these days, and Casey's specializes in them. It doesn't hurt that many thrift merchants have posted better-than-projected results in recent weeks.

FactSet Research Systems is feeling upbeat lately. The specialist in financial-markets data boosted its quarterly dividend last month, a decent indicator of fiscal improvement.

Then there's IHS. The provider of energy, environmental, and security information is practically a lock to improve on its year-ago performance. The company stuck to its guidance last week, during a presentation in an investor conference in Chicago.

Research In Motion is the company behind the market-leading BlackBerry smartphones. With 25 million subscribers under its belt, the company has grown despite the popularity of the recent iPhone and Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) Pre introductions.

Capstone Turbine and Casella Waste Systems join Casey's General in reporting tonight. Investors shouldn't expect to see any profits from these two companies; both lost money last year and will probably report losses again. However, analysts see Capstone and Casella delivering narrower deficits tonight. These are forward steps.

Finally, A-Power is fueling a major growth spurt. The Chinese maker of power-generating equipment is faring well lately. It closed out 2008's final quarter by nearly doubling revenue and almost tripling its bottom line.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
It's refreshing to see a handful of companies angling to post healthier results, long after the earnings season rush has come and gone. Research In Motion is the only entry with a market cap greater than $5 billion, but that's OK. One can argue that the economic weakness has taken a greater toll on the smaller companies than on those deemed too big to fail.

They can always miss, of course. Analysts are only human. However, IHS' reiteration of its near-term outlook last week and FactSet's yield increase last month prove that at least some of the companies should hold up well.

Then you have companies such as Casey's and Research In Motion that are toiling away in sectors that have held up well in drawing consumers this year. It also bears pointing out that A-Power earned twice what Wall Street was expecting in its most recent quarter.

Things are looking up for these companies, but these stocks also have more pressure on them than the seven sinkers I singled out on Friday. These companies are expected to post improving results. The optimism is already baked into their share prices. That makes it easier for them to slip, but why begin worrying about the companies that we aren't supposed to be worrying about?

Cross those fingers, and hope the analysts know what they're doing.

Some other reads to get you through the week:

The Fool owns shares of FactSet Research Systems. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and 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.