I owe you an apology.

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

Since I was the party pooper over the weekend, let me be the one to refresh the punch bowl. Here are seven companies that analysts see posting healthier bottom lines this week.


Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS




Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV)






Del Monte (NYSE:DLM)



ABM Industries (NYSE:ABM)



Esterline (NYSE:ESL)






Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top. Culp is a marketer of mattress fabrics for bedding and upholstery fabrics for furniture. The bedding industry has typically been an all-weather industry. When mattresses get lumpy, people are going to replace them. Furniture, on the other hand, is more in tune with the state of the economy.

New-home construction has inched higher in each of the past five months, and that's welcome news for developers. That doesn't mean Hovnanian and rival homebuilders such as Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) have turned the corner, though. The industry's biggest players have simply posted narrower deficits lately -- a far cry from outright profitability.

SAIC -- or Science Applications International Corporation -- feasts on government contracts. Serving the nation's departments of Defense and Homeland Security along with the intelligence community will make you mostly immune to recessionary hiccups. You still need to win bids and make sure that the government isn't sharply reducing spending, but SAIC has been up to the task lately.

Del Monte is a name familiar to anyone who has set foot in a supermarket. Between fresh produce and canned veggies, Del Monte is one of the food industry's biggest brands. The food giant is holding up well, despite the natural migration to cheaper store brands for many grocery store staples.

ABM should mop up nicely this week. The company provides janitorial, facility, engineering, parking, and security services. With companies cutting back on their own internal infrastructure, it's only natural to outsource operations to ABM.

Esterline is a specialty manufacturer in the aerospace and defense industries. Making avionics and sensors may not appear to be a growth industry at a time when airlines are scaling back their fleets. Moreover, Esterline has also missed expectations during the two previous quarters, so investors have a right to be jaded about the market's lofty profit target of $0.90 a share for its latest quarter.

ArcSight keeps government and corporate computers safe. Its solutions ward off cyber-theft, cyber-fraud, cyber-warfare, and cyber-espionage. It's all cyber-ugly, but it's easy to see why ArcSight is as popular as ever right now.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
There aren't too many companies reporting this week, as we head into a holiday weekend, so it's encouraging to see so many companies growing their bottom lines in this iffy environment.

Not that investors can rest easy. The bad news is that these companies are expected to post improving results. Since the optimism is already baked into their share prices, it's 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:

SAIC is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. 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.