The market has been waking up from its summer doldrums lately. Investors are buying into the market again.

It's not all puppy-dog kisses and butterscotch candies, though. I was skeptical heading into the weekend, bringing up several companies that are projected to post lower quarterly earnings this week.

Thankfully, there will be far more companies improving their bottom lines this week than those going the wrong way.

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's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE)



AutoZone (NYSE: AZO)



Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY)



Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI)



Red Hat (NYSE: RHT)



Neogen (Nasdaq: NEOG)



TIBCO Software (Nasdaq: TIBX)



Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Adobe. The leading developer of desktop publishing software is the company behind the Acrobat-authored PDF files you're downloading and the Flash videos you're watching. It's troublesome to find accounts receivables growing faster than actual sales, but it's hard to scoff at the 40% projected growth in profitability that the pros are looking for tomorrow. Before you brush off the analysts as being overly optimistic, keep in mind that Adobe has landed ahead of Wall Street's bottom-line target in each of the four previous quarters.

AutoZone runs the popular chain of auto parts stores. It's a thriving retail niche. Cars continue to get older. We're putting more miles on the average automobile. The quality of cars has certainly improved, but limited warranties force drivers into maintaining their cars after automaker protections run out. This has been great for AutoZone, but would the good times continue after a year of healthy sales growth in new cars? Well, shares of AutoZone hit a fresh all-time high earlier this month. The growth tear continues.

If AutoZone sells hard goods, Bed Bath & Beyond specializes in soft goods. From bathroom towels to bedroom drapes, the superstore retailer fits homes with low-priced essentials. The common perception out there is that folks won't sleep on lumpy pillows or put up with tattered shower curtains, but Bed Bath & Beyond still needs consumers with discretionary income to spend on sprucing up their digs.

Darden isn't a household name, but you've probably eaten at a few of its restaurants. Red Lobster and Olive Garden are its largest concepts. Casual dining will pick up once employment rates dip, but it's refreshing to see Darden grow its profitability. It's not something that shareholders take for granted, as Darden has clocked in with lower earnings in two of the past three quarters.

Red Hat has an intriguing model. It has crafted enterprise solutions out of the open-source Linux platform, offering support to corporations at cost-effective subscriptions. The software company has been linked to buyout rumors lately, and why not? Companies love growing disruptors, and Red Hat grew revenue by 20% in its latest quarter. Packing roughly $800 million in cash in its balance sheet makes any potential acquisition that much cheaper.

Neogen caught the eye of fellow Fool Andy Cross this summer. The maker of food safety testing kits and veterinarian products is a steady producer, posting year-over-year earnings growth for 12 consecutive quarters. For those scoring at home, this means that Neogen has grown right through the darkest recessionary stretches.

Finally we have TIBCO, a specialist of business integration management software. The stock is heavily shorted, but that's just asking for a short squeeze if the company is able to maintain its healthy fundamentals. Living up to growth expectations when it reports on Thursday will be one way to shake out a few of the naysayers.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these seven stocks have a right to be excited. They are all improving their financial situations. They are worthy of the gains that the market rally has bestowed upon them over the past year.

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.

Adobe Systems and Bed Bath & Beyond are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

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.