Did you catch my pessimism on Friday, when I rattled off seven bellwethers that analysts see posting lower quarterly profits this week?

I'm here to replace those funerary urns with party hats.

After all, investors shouldn't be braced for bad news out of every company that's stepping up to the earnings stage this week. Several companies -- including some that you may very well own a piece of -- are projected to grow their bottom lines this week.

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


Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK)



Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM)



Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT)



Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)









Crown Holdings (NYSE:CCK)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Bank of the Ozarks. Did you really expect to see a bank doing better these days? It's hard to find a profitable bank, much less one that's actually growing its bottom line. Then again, this Arkansas-based bank is so far off the investing radar that we haven't written about it in more than a year.

Peregrine and Abbott Labs are drug companies, although they're at opposite extremes in terms of market capitalizations. Abbott is a roughly $70 billion pharmaceuticals giant, while Peregrine's cap is just shy of $200 million. Both companies are projected to improve their profitability, though. They say that drug stocks weather all economic climates, but I've seen a couple slip in recent months, so I won't take winners like Abbott and Peregrine for granted.

Baxter International has received attention lately for its role in producing a swine-flu vaccine. But the company also focuses on products and treatments for conditions such as hemophilia, kidney disease, and immune disorders. Even with favorable tailwinds, though, analysts see results improving by less than a dime.

Google is no stranger to growth investors. Skeptics will argue that the world's leading search engine is growing its net income by only 9%, but that's quite the achievement, as ad rates have collapsed elsewhere. Google remains online advertising's shining star, and a strong report should provide a boost to smaller dot-coms.

IBM is the most encouraging name to see on this list. The tech giant has evolved over the years, but it still offers one of the better ways to get a read on IT spending. If companies are beginning to spend on their tech infrastructure, that's a good indicator that an economic recovery may be closer than grim unemployment and retail sales figures suggest.

Crown Holdings completes the list. The maker of cans and other metal containers is another stock we haven't written about in a while, but a lack of coverage doesn't mean it's standing still. It recently announced the purchase of a Vietnamese beverage-can plant. Despite the global slump, Crown has delivered five consecutive quarters of year-over-year improvement on the bottom line.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Our list this week is encouraging. This past quarter was brutal for the economy, but these seven companies are growing, and in some cases they're growing nicely.

If I have to wave a warning flag, it's that these seven stocks have more pressure on them than the seven sinkers I singled out on Friday. These companies are expected to post improving results, and the optimism is already baked into their share prices. It's easier for them to slip as a result, but why begin worrying about the companies that we aren't supposed to be worrying about?

If the analysts know what they're doing -- and in cases such as Google and IBM, the analysts have historically underestimated the profit potential -- we'll be just fine.

Some other reads to get you through the week:

Google is a Rule Breakers newsletter service recommendation. What makes the growth stock so Google-rific? A 30-day trial subscription can get you up to speed.

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.