It's been a rough start to 2010, but five sluggish trading weeks don't make up a year. We still have a long way to go, and some of the holiday quarter results are clocking in better than expected.

Sure, I may have recently singled out several stocks that are projected to post disappointing financials this week, but there are also plenty of exceptions.

If you know where to look, the next few days can also be an uplifting experience. Let's go over seven publicly traded companies that are expected to stand tall this week by posting year-over-year improvement on the bottom line.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS




Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)



Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)



Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM)



Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ:ESLR)






PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top of the list: Baidu is China's leading search engine, fulfilling roughly two-thirds of all queries within the world's most populous nation. There's been plenty of political drama in this space, and analysts seem to like Baidu's chances of gaining even more market share -- and advertiser attention -- by the time everything's settled.

Coke is the real thing, or at least when it comes to recession-resilient expenditures. Pocket change is a fair ransom for syrupy-sweet refreshment. When you pair that up with Coca-Cola's monster brand, the soft-drink champ may be the ultimate defensive stock. Unit volumes are predictably steady, though the path to Coca-Cola's bottom line is the real question mark. Despite the uncertainty, the pop star has consistently met or exceeded the street's quarterly guesstimates for years.

Activision Blizzard is standing out in an industry that is falling to pieces around it. The release of its record-breaking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 clearly helped over the holidays, but the video game giant also has the World of Warcraft and now-meandering Guitar Hero franchises to share the load. All three of the video game consoles slashed their prices last year, and that's good news for developers. As installed bases grow, software purchases should follow.

Philip Morris may be a controversial stock, but income investors don't seem to have a problem with the tobacco behemoth's 5.1% yield. Despite iffy smoking trends and mountains of litigation, Philip Morris keeps moving forward. Analysts see revenue and earnings growing 6% and 11% respectively in its latest quarter.

Evergreen Solar and JA Solar are a pair of popular plays in solar energy. The sector hasn't been one for the squeamish, with wicked price swings as the market gauges the inevitability of solar power with the patience and pricing hurdles to see it through. A year ago, both companies posted losses. Wall Street sees JA Solar posting a profit (it returned to profitability a quarter earlier) and Evergreen Solar substantially narrowing its deficit.

Finally, we have PepsiCo. Unlike Coca-Cola, PepsiCo also has a thriving salty snacks business. Last night's Super Bowl may have been free of Pepsi ads for the first time in years, but did you catch all of those Doritos spots? The crunchy chips are part of PepsiCo's Frito-Lay arm.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these seven stocks have a right to be excited. The past few weeks may be testing the market's mettle, but lower prices on stocks with improving profits translate into more attractive valuations.

I wouldn't be uncomfortable owning any of these companies. They're doing the right thing, regardless of Mr. Market's mood swings.

The expectations may be high, but these seven stocks wouldn't have it any other way.

Are you a buyer or a seller of stocks these days? Share your strategy in the comment box below.

Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Baidu is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Philip Morris International is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Coca-Cola and Pepsico are Motley Fool Income Investor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. 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 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.