We can intentionally crash a probe on the moon, but can we unintentionally crash the market?

The past few months of rallying markets have to be problematic to valuation hounds. Stocks are rising, but many key companies aren't growing their bottom lines.

Let's go over a few of the blue chips and seemingly recession-proof companies facing dour bottom-line predictions for next week. Some of the names may surprise you:


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Oil-Dri (NYSE:ODC)






Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)



Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)



Nokia (NYSE:NOK)



Safeway (NYSE:SWY)



Mattel (NYSE:MAT)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Several companies will post lower earnings next week, but these are just a few of the names that really jump out at me.

Let's start with Oil-Dri. Shortly after the economy started tanking, I heard an analyst on CNBC emphasizing the recession-resistant allure of Oil-Dri. The company makes kitty litter, and even during a downturn, feline fanciers aren't going to put up with a stinky home. That's an interesting thesis, but won't folks simply own fewer cats? Earnings already fell during Oil-Dri's most recent quarter, and another thesis-debunking dip may be stalking toward the company on little cat feet.

Intel is a microprocessor juggernaut, but analysts think Tuesday's report will deal the bellwether its fourth consecutive year-over-year quarterly decline in profitability. Hopefully, things will improve with this month's release of Windows 7. Intel doesn't have a hand in the new operating system, but the reportedly painful upgrade process -- especially for computer owners still running Windows XP -- may drive consumers to snap up new PCs that come with Windows 7 preinstalled, and Intel chips inside.

Johnson & Johnson is often the poster child for all-weather investing. Its consumer non-durables include Band-Aids and its namesake baby shampoo. J&J's pharmaceuticals business provides a resilient health-care kick. Yet the market still expects lower earnings on Tuesday.

Bank of America's stock has been a six-bagger since bottoming out in February. Unfortunately, its fundamentals aren't ascending so quickly. In fact, Wall Street expects the banking giant to reverse last year's profit by posting a small loss at the end of next week.

Nokia doesn't command much respect in a country where BlackBerry and iPhone devices get all of the love. But don't diss the Finnish handset maker -- it's still the global leader. Unfortunately for Nokia, its latest quarter's net income will likely clock in at less than half of last year's figure.

Supermarkets are supposed to be steady performers. In turbulent times, consumers still need to eat, and they may even be swayed toward buying cheaper store brands that still generate healthy margins for the grocers. Not this time, Safeway.

Finally, we have Mattel. With video game sales tanking over the past few months, I figured that traditional playthings would have a shot. Toys are also often portrayed as the last sector to fall, since parents will sacrifice their own pleasures before they deny their kids new items to play with. Mattel's dip is projected to be slight, but it's a dip nonetheless.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These reports aren't likely to be pretty. Many of these stocks are market darlings in seemingly healthy sectors. A grocery store that isn't holding up at the register? The "no more tears" shampoo maker crying shareholders a river? This isn't going to be an attractive quarter, no matter what kind of makeover you give Mattel's Barbie.

There is a silver lining, though. Investors are already braced for the worst with these reports. If there is an upside to this grim list, it's that lower profitability is already baked into next week's reports, which actually opens the door for unexpected surprises.

The more I think about it, the less worried I become.

Intel and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if his contrarian heart will ever be happy. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.