These are happy times for Mr. Market.

The Dow has closed higher for eight days in a row, and the bulk of earnings season has come and gone with more than enough pleasant surprises to offset the implosions.

I wouldn't get too comfortable if I were you.

It's not a threat. I'm eyeing the companies that will be reporting their quarterly results next week and there are plenty of companies that haven't earned these recent gains.

Even as the economy shows signs of life, there are still plenty of companies posting lower earnings than they did a year ago. Let's go over a few of the pretenders that are expected to go the wrong way on the bottom line next week.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE)



Carnival (NYSE: CCL)



Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC)



Commercial Metals (NYSE: CMC)



Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX)



Red Hat (NYSE: RHT)



Accenture (NYSE: ACN)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
There will likely be many more companies posting lower earnings next week, but these are just a few of the names that really jump out at me.

Let's start with Adobe. The maker of desktop publishing software is the company behind Acrobat PDF files and the Flash platform that powers everything from YouTube video clips to social games including FarmVille on Facebook. You can't officially "Photoshop" something without Adobe's popular graphics-editing package. One would expect this to be a great time for Adobe, especially as more print publishing goes online. Unfortunately, Adobe's turnaround isn't expected until the current quarter.

Carnival hit a new 52-week high yesterday, yet the pros think the cruise ship operator would be lucky to earn half as much as it did a year earlier. The future should be better. Carnival bumped its summer fares 5% higher last month, after wintry weather fueled record bookings.

Sonic is the burger drive-in chain that cranks out everything from cherry slushies to Frito pies. Not every fast-food chain is feeling the glow of the golden arches, and Sonic already warned of a flat 2010 when it missed Wall Street guesstimates a quarter ago.

Commercial Metals is feeling the pinch of a soft steel industry. It recently announced the closure of a metals recycling plant in Nevada. It is also bowing out of its joist and deck business entirely. The pros see a widening deficit when it posts it quarterly financials on Wednesday.

Paychex is a payroll-processing giant. It's a pretty good proxy of the corporate world. Business will grow as either more companies begin hiring or more firms turn to Paychex to handle their payroll, human resources, and employee benefits planning.

Red Hat is a surprising name on this list. The enterprise software company should be thriving since it provides a cheaper open-source solution to conventional enterprise programs. Despite the recessionary allure, this should be the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines on the bottom line.

Finally we have Accenture. The management consulting giant was the first major company to dismiss Tiger Woods as a corporate sponsor when his scandal broke before the holidays. Maybe if it would have spent a little less on its pointless Woods campaign it would have managed to avoid inching lower as projected with next Thursday's report.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These seven companies may be seeing the light at the end of their respective tunnels, but their rearview mirrors will likely be dark next week. The market has rewarded many of these stocks with healthy gains over the past year, but they still haven't earned those upticks.

The good news here is that Wall Street already expects these companies to deliver shrinking bottom lines. In other words, the bad news is already baked into the shares.

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

Accenture and Paychex are Motley Fool Inside Value choices. Adobe Systems is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Paychex is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, 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.