They used to say "as January goes, so goes the market" -- but I don't know if that still applies.

Last year found the market overcoming a horrendous January. We may be seeing a repeat performance in 2010.

This doesn't mean that I'm unabashedly bullish. I even recently singled out several stocks that are projected to post disappointing financials this week. However, my inner optimist always finds a way to have the final say.  

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.

Company

Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM)

$0.15

$0.11

Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN)

$0.94

$0.93

Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL)

($0.35)

($0.55)

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)

($0.02)

($0.08)

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)

$0.79

$0.26

Vonage (NYSE:VG)

($0.03)

($0.07)

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)

$0.76

$0.71

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top.

When it comes to cloud computing, salesforce.com may as well be its poster child. The fast-growing company is providing a popular server-based suite of enterprise software solutions, undercutting traditional platforms. In other words, it's been refreshingly recession-proof despite -- or perhaps as a result of -- companies scaling back on their IT expenditures. salesforce.com has posted six consecutive quarters of year-over-year profitability growth. Wall Street doesn't see that streak ending this week.

Garmin is a surprise. I know I wasn't the only one writing the GPS giant off a year ago. There are too many people content to navigate with the web-tethered smartphones, making it harder to push standalone gadgetry. Well, Garmin must be doing something right. It surprised investors by posting quarterly earnings growth three months ago after a year of declines. The pros expect a repeat performance, even if it's by the slightest of margins.

Toll Brothers isn't just a homebuilder: It's a residential developer that caters to the higher end of the middle-class market. This would normally be a horrendous time to move new homes, but Toll's respectable balance sheet is built to see it through the lull. The builder may still be far away from actual profitability, but posting a substantially narrower deficit is a great sign.

Sirius XM Radio is another company that is moving up by losing less. The satellite-radio operator has been rocking and rolling as it heads into Thursday morning's earnings report, but analysts simply see a smaller loss rather than an actual profit. Servicing roughly $3 billion in long-term debt is a high barrier, but momentum is on Sirius XM's side.

Gold has been a resilient metal during the market downturn, but it may surprise some to see Newmont Mining's profit nearly triple in its latest quarter. After all, Newmont is a company that posted four consecutive quarters of declining earnings before turning its fundamentals around a quarter ago.

Vonage has had a very bumpy road since its inauspicious IPO. It's not everyday that a company has to sue its own customers because it got them in on the stock offering as a ground-floor opportunity -- only to find a few of them turn into deadbeats when the floor cracked. Vonage still isn't entirely back, though the Internet-based phone service is starting to paint on some new racing stripes with its recent smartphone app push. In the same camp as Toll Brothers and Sirius XM, Vonage's gain will be a smaller loss.

Finally, we have Medtronic. The maker of everything from pacemakers to defibrillators is growing on the bottom line, even as headlines continue to indicate that cash-strapped hospitals are cutting back.

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 comments box below.

salesforce.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Medtronic. 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.