Weakness in Greece? Fabulous Fab's testimony? Mr. Market doesn't care. He's too busy enjoying all the successful quarterly reports posted in recent weeks. However, I still see many companies heading the wrong way.

Let's go over a few of the blue chips and seemingly recession-proof companies for which analysts predict lower year-over-year earnings next week. Some of the names may surprise you:


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST)



Administaff (NYSE: ASF)



Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP)



Qwest (NYSE: Q)



United Online (Nasdaq: UNTD)



Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE)



Cott (NYSE: COT)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Several companies will post sagging bottom lines next week. These are just a few of the names that really jumped out at me.

Rosetta Stone, the company behind the popular language-education programs, should be doing better these days. Most of the postsecondary educators have been rocking during the recession, as folks make the most of the economic lull to brush up on their marketable skills. Shouldn't learning a new foreign language deserve a prime spot on that corporate wish list? Don't we live in a truly global economy? Well, Rosetta Stone is learning that "no" means the same thing in several different languages. This isn't just a quarterly fluke; analysts foresee a lower profit for all of 2010.

Administaff is also spending more time on the firing line than the hiring line. Shares of the human resources provider tanked after its earnings report three months ago, and things are only getting worse. Wall Street targets a small deficit this time around.

Have you seen that Coors ad where the guy paints a black tunnel against a brick wall on a sweltering day, and out comes the refreshing Coors train? Well, the light at the end of Molson Coors' tunnel is apparently an oncoming freight train. As a relatively cheap libation, beer is supposed to be a recessionary winner. But despite its cute ticker symbol, Molson Coors isn't tapping the collective keg as heartily as it did a year ago.

Regional telco Qwest is looking to beef up with its recently announced deal to merge with CenturyTel. That might be a smart move. The value of connectivity is changing in this wired age, and landline accounts and long-distance charges are so 2009.

United Online's languishing connectivity business is similarly suffering. The company behind the NetZero and Juno brands realizes that its Internet access subsidiaries are meandering toward the elephant's graveyard. Thankfully for United, it's been able to diversify into areas including social networking (Classmates), florist referrals (FTD), and loyalty shopping plans (MyPoints). That's a compelling portfolio of properties, but the pros still see earnings diminishing.

Finally, we have Sara Lee and Cott. These two companies are no strangers to anyone strolling through the supermarket, even if few know Cott by name. Sara Lee may be expected to struggle during the economic downturn, as folks bypass its pound cake for cheaper store-brand treats. However, Sara Lee's loss should be Cott's gain. It's the world's largest player in retailer-brand soft drinks. If you're picking up a cheap store-brand cola or lemon-lime soda over Coke or Sprite, you may very well be quaffing Cott's handiwork. How can both Sara Lee and Cott flunk out during the same quarter?

Why the long face, short-seller?
These reports likely won't be pretty, even though many of these stocks are in seemingly healthy sectors. A payroll-services provider not cashing in during the early stages of Corporate America's recovery? A beer giant pouring flat during sober times? This won't be a pretty quarter, no matter how plump those Sara Lee Ball Park frankfurters get on the grill.

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.

Administaff is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Rosetta Stone is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. 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.