Don't be an October Fool.

Yes, we're at the other end of April Fool's Day, but it doesn't mean that you still can't get punked on the 1st of October. Despite a healthy stock market rally through September and the occasionally uplifting news on the economy, the optimism isn't universally fitting.

There are still plenty of companies unable to post better earnings than they did a year ago. Let's go over a few of the names that aren't getting the job done on the bottom line, going by what analysts believe they will report next week.


Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI)



Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ)



Immucor (Nasdaq: BLUD)






AngioDynamics (Nasdaq: ANGO)



Int'l Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA)



Monsanto (NYSE: MON)



Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
There will be 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 Acuity. The maker of a broad line of lighting fixtures isn't shining kindly on its shareholders lately. Delivering lower quarterly net income than it did a year earlier isn't new here. Acuity has posted year-over-year declines on the bottom line in each of the past eight quarters.

Constellation Brands is the distiller behind Mondavi wines, SVEDKA vodka, and many other potent libations. Hard liquor in a soft economy isn't as easy a sell as you might think. Folks trade down to cheaper bottles, leaving brand giants including Constellation to discount aggressively.

Immucor makes automated systems that are used for blood transfusions. Unlike the other names on this week's list, Immucor's not earning less than it did a year ago. The problem is that it's not earning more than it did a year ago, either.

RPM makes coatings and sealants. The other thing it does really well is send out dividend checks. RPM has managed to beef up its quarterly payouts on an annual basis for 36 consecutive years. This is usually when the company announces the uptick in its distributions, so don't be surprised if a small yield bump accompanies RPM's report.

See the problem, though? RPM can't continue to dig deeper into its pockets for fatter dividend checks if earnings are going the wrong way.

AngioDynamics is a health-care equipment manufacturer, providing gear used by interventional radiologists in the minimally invasive treatment of cancer and peripheral vascular disease. Health-care reform may be draping this niche with a little uncertainty, but hospitals ultimately have no choice but to order up the equipment that its radiologists, surgeons, and other physicians require.

International Speedway promotes more than 100 racing events annually, primarily through the 13 motorsports racetracks it owns and operates. Insiders may be buying, but the company's profitability isn't going as fast as some of the cars at its Daytona 500 race.

Finally, we have agricultural giant Monsanto reaching for the Roundup -- or at least that's one way to weed out the problem. Monsanto may have posted an unimpressive profit a year ago, but analysts are targeting a deficit this time around.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These seven companies have -- literally -- seen better days. 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 or flat 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.

Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Monsanto, which is a former Motley Fool Inside Value pick. 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 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.