However you feel about health-care reform, with that bill finally passed, it appears that Wall Street reform is now moving from the on-deck circle into the batter's box.

This debate could go either way, so at least it's comforting to know that corporate fundamentals -- the underbelly that ultimately dictates share prices -- are improving as we claw our way out of the global recession.

What's that? Not every company is in better shape than it was a year ago? Oh, crikey!

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 expected to announce shabbier numbers next week.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Gammon Gold (NYSE: GRS)



Team Inc. (Nasdaq: TISI)



WSP Holdings (NYSE: WH)



Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI)



Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD)



Recon Materials (Nasdaq: RECN)



UniFirst (NYSE: UNF)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

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

We'll start with Gammon. The mid-tier gold miner's stock more than doubled last year. This would normally indicate that things are going well at its Mexican mines -- and they are -- but shouldn't ramped-up production, lower costs, and buoyant prices translate into booming earnings growth? The company's fourth quarter apparently didn't pan out that way. On the upside, analysts see explosive gains on Gammon's bottom line this year.

Team Inc. is an industrial services provider. Alas, the company has already rained on its shareholder parade.

"Improvements in activity levels are slower to materialize than expected and nearly all our customer groups continue to face very difficult margin and demand environments," Team Inc. CEO Phil Hawk warned last week, hosing down his company's near-term guidance.

China's WSP makes seamless tubular goods for the oil industry. Its shares have grown so out of favor that they now trade below book value. It's hard for even contrarians cheering for a turnaround to get excited when a company's leaking this much red ink. This will likely be the company's second consecutive quarterly loss, though analysts expect a profit after that.

Acuity Brands manufactures a broad line of lighting fixtures, but its near-term prospects aren't as bright as its wares. Acuity has posted year-over-year declines in profitability in each of the six previous quarters. The pros think the streak will stretch to seven periods next week.

Rite Aid isn't as "rad" as its ticker symbol suggests. The drugstore chain is debunking the notion that pharmacies are all-weather retailers by posting losses. Rite Aid hasn't generated a quarterly profit in nearly three years.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommended Resources Connection to subscribers a few years ago. The Deloitte & Touche spinoff seemed like a logical bet on the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. But now, the professional services specialist may want to check into its own risk-management offering, after posting three consecutive quarterly losses.

Finally UniFirst is getting pressed. When workplace uniforms are your bread and butter, it's only natural to expect business to slow down as unemployment rates spike.

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.

Resources Connection is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether 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.