While most of the country is cooling down in January, the equity markets are heating up.

Unfortunately, not every stock is worthy of the rally that has sent most equity prices higher since mid-March. Just as this morning's shaky employment report has economists second-guessing the strength of the recovery, there are several companies that are still going the wrong way on the bottom line, too.

Let's go over a few of the blue chips and seemingly recession-proof companies where analysts see the arrows pointing down on the bottom line next week. Some of the names may surprise you.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Shuffle Master (NASDAQ:SHFL)



Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK)






Linear Technology (NASDAQ:LLTC)






Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea (NYSE:GAP)



Audiovox (NASDAQ:VOXX)



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 Shuffle Master. The maker of automatic card shufflers, table games, roulette chip sorters, and other gadgetry that keeps casinos humming along appears to be a losing bet. Analysts see the company earning $0.03 a share below what it rang up a year ago. The silver lining here is that Shuffle Master actually beat expectations by $0.03 a share in its most recent quarter.

Small banks may be appealing to our inner George Baileys, but Bank of the Ozarks isn't exactly having a wonderful life. Then again, isn't it all relative? The Arkansas-based bank may post slightly lower earnings, but it's still squarely profitable. It also raised its quarterly dividend rate yesterday, so it has to be doing a few things right.

Unlike Bank of the Ozarks, SUPERVALU actually slashed its dividend last year. The operator of supermarkets and Save-A-Lot discount stores appears ready to debunk the myth that grocery stores and discounters are recession- resistant.

Linear Technology makes integrated circuits. The company has a strong history of boosting its dividend payouts, but that practice is going to be a challenge if the bottom line keeps going the wrong way.

It might be surprising to see Infosys on this list. The company's a leader in IT-based outsourcing. When you call a customer-support line in the middle of the night -- and find yourself talking to someone in Bangalore -- you may very well be experiencing Infosys' handiwork. When times are tight, outsourcing certain operations overseas can save enough money to keep teetering companies afloat. Infosys shouldn't be backpedaling.

Three months ago, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea posted a wider-than-expected deficit and its CEO went packing. Things have to get better for the grocery store chain, right? Well, analysts see more red ink in next week's report.

Finally, we have Audiovox. The automotive entertainment player may be turning heads with new product announcements during this week's Consumer Electronics Show, but earnings are projected to take a small step back.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These reports aren't likely to be pretty. Many of these stocks are in seemingly healthy sectors, to boot. A grocery store chain that can't get the red out? An Indian outsourcing specialist that isn't cashing in on corporate cost-cutting? This isn't going to be an attractive quarter, no matter how loud you blast your Audiovox car system.

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. It actually opens the door for unexpected surprises.

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

Linear Technology is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor 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 Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.