Smile for me, market bulls.     

Last Friday, I singled out seven bellwethers that analysts see posting lower quarterly profits this week. But the outlook isn't all gloom and doom. In fact, several companies are actually growing in this dicey climate.

Since I dissed Mr. Market over the weekend, let me come right back with an apology today. Here are seven companies that analysts see posting healthier bottom lines this week:


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL)






Interactive Intelligence (NASDAQ:ININ)



Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD)






First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)



Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top. Apollo and DeVry are cashing in on the retooling of our workforce. Even during a recession, folks seek to arm themselves with training and degrees that will pay off in the future. Apollo and DeVry offer cost-effective post-secondary education alternatives, even online.

Interactive Intelligence provides a cheaper and flexible software solution to the voice-activated hardware that we all encounter when we call up an automated service. Yes, we all hate the "Press 1 if you're annoyed" customer service centers, but if they are going to stick around, investors may as well profit from those making the systems more efficient. Interactive Intelligence is a recommendation in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service, and it's rewarding to see quarterly profits targeted to nearly triple this week.

Buffalo Wild Wings runs a fast-growing chain of sports bars where chicken wings are the house specialty. Buffalo Wild Wings has grown during the recession, even posting positive comps at the unit level. You don't see that with many eateries these days, as cash-strapped consumers decide to eat in instead.

E*TRADE is a spunky online discount broker with those famous talking-baby ads. The company is distancing itself from its problematic exposure to residential mortgage lending. Along the way, it is gaining new brokerage accounts, even as rallying equities push investors into buying. In short, E*TRADE's in an ideal spot right now. The broker is unlikely to turn a profit, but it will likely post a substantially narrower deficit.

First Solar is one of the larger players in the solar energy sector. This industry seems to rise and set in popularity as often as the sun. Going by First Solar's projected 45% surge in profitability for its latest quarter, I guess solar energy's in for another sunny season.

Check your cupboard or medicine cabinet, and you're bound to find more than a few Colgate-Palmolive products. I'm excited to see the company's bottom line growing, because other brand giants have faltered as consumers reach out for cheaper store-branded substitutes.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
These aren't the only companies expected to post year-over-year gains this week. Several companies have either found ways to grow during the recession, or have simply cut enough corners to show improvement on the bottom line.

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. That 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:

First Solar and Interactive Intelligence are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Apollo Group is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings, which is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. It will give you one less reason to worry about this week.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He 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.