I owe you an apology.

I was a bit of a worrywart on Friday, singling out seven bellwethers that analysts see posting lower quarterly profits this week. Things may be bad, but they're not that bad. In fact, there are several companies that are actually growing despite this recessionary drought.

Since I rained on your parade over the weekend, I owe it to you to get the marching band back on the road. Here are seven companies that analysts see posting healthier bottom lines this week.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ:COCO)



Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR)









Borders Group (NYSE:BGP)



Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS)



Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top. Post-secondary education has been a hot sector, especially for the for-profit players with strong curriculums. Corinthian Colleges fits the bill, as enrollment grows throughout the educator's roughly 100 campuses.

Dollar Tree is one of the many beneficiaries of shoppers' increased penny-pinching. Not all discounters are growing their bottom lines, though. Retailers still need to manage margins, but Dollar Tree is apparently doing just fine in that department.

eLong isn't China's largest online travel portal, but it's having a breakthrough 2009. After years of losses, eLong turned a small profit in the first quarter. Analysts see the company simply breaking even this time around, but that's fine. The company is trading for just a little more than the cash on its balance sheet, so the downside appears limited if it's starting to make money now.

Novell is a bellwether blast from the past, as a rock star from the early days of networking. It may not be ready for a reunion tour through sold-out arenas, but Novell is growing its bottom line at a time when many prominent tech citizens are faltering.

Borders is still bleeding, but analysts see a narrower loss at the distressed bookseller. It's a refreshing sight as electronic book readers grow in popularity and thrifty bibliophiles have less money to spend on new reads. This may not save the company from turning the page to Chapter 11, but it's a move in the right direction.

Chico's FAS was in the news at this time last year. As swimmer Michael Phelps collected gold medals, his mother tearfully cheered him on -- wearing all-Chico's outfits. When the retailer found out about Debbie Phelps' affinity toward its fashion ensembles, it signed her up as a spokeswoman. Chico's has struggled since then, but that's probably not Debbie's fault; the same can be said for most mall chains. However, Wall Street thinks that the apparel retailer could still swim ahead of last year's showing.

Finally, Sanderson Farms is enjoying the best sort of fowl play. The Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation produces around 8 million chickens a week, making it one of the country's largest poultry producers. It's a reasonably steady business; we still have to eat, and poultry is one of the cheaper entree choices.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Earnings season is coming to a close, so it's comforting to find at least seven companies moving in the right direction. They're not the only projected gainers, though. Analysts are starting to feel a bit more optimistic as the economy shows signs of bottoming out.

This doesn't mean that investors can rest easy. The bad news is that these companies are expected to post improving results. The optimism is already baked into their share prices. It makes it easier for them to slip, but why begin worrying about the companies that we aren't supposed to be worrying about?

If analysts are doing a good job modeling their profit targets, we'll be just fine.

Some other reads to get you through the week:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.