Are you feeling it?
Somewhere between the rallying equity prices and market research giant Forrester's predicting a 16% spike in online sales during the holiday shopping season, it's easy to begin feeling good about the economy.
Heck. Even the country's leading search engine reportedly is handing out 10% raises across the board.
Unfortunately, it's not all Turnaround City.
Despite the heady market gains in recent weeks, there are still plenty of companies posting lower earnings than they did a year ago. Let's go over a few of the names that are expected to go the wrong way on the bottom line next week.
Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)
Year-Ago Quarter's EPS
Bob Evans Farms
Warner Music Group
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
More companies are expected to post lower earnings next week; these are just a few of the names that really jump out at me.
Perfect World was once a speedster in the realm of online gaming. China's youth would duck into Internet cafes to engage in Perfect World's fantasy multiplayer games. Web-based gaming is still huge in China, but Perfect World is no longer on the bandwagon. It's also hard to believe that analysts are underestimating Perfect World's potential this time, since the struggling company has missed Wall Street's profit target in two of the three previous quarters.
Lower earnings may be the least of RINO International's problems, as the Chinese cleantech firm is battling fraud allegations. It's going to be an interesting conference call for sure, come Monday.
Bob Evans is the sausage master behind a chain of casual-dining eateries that specialize in comfort foods. Bob Evans and its slightly more upscale Mimi's Cafe should be beneficiaries of an economic recovery. Dining out becomes an obvious use of discretionary income when folks are feeling confident about their financial wellbeing. Bob Evans bumped its dividend higher this summer, a scene that is unlikely to be repeated if earnings continue to decline.
It may be a shock to find BJ's Wholesale on this list. Warehouse clubs provide bargains in bulk, a compelling value in any market. It certainly didn't hurt during the recession. BJ's has posted year-over-year earnings growth in all but one quarter over the past three years. If the pros are right, this will be the second.
Nepstar runs a drugstore chain in China. Many of the other consumer-oriented companies in China are thriving. How can they not, when the emerging nation's economy is growing at a 10% annualized clip? This won't be a new feeling for Nepstar, since it's been clocking in under last year's results all year.
Warner Music Group is the major record label behind Green Day, Enya, and The White Stripes. No one is surprised to hear that the majors are struggling these days, but did you know that even digital music sales are starting to dip sequentially at Warner Music Group? Well, it happened during the company's previous quarter. Wall Street's projection of wider deficits this time around make it likely that the trend will continue.
Finally, we have Canadian Solar, which is relying heavily on China's push for sun-backed power. It's cashing in from all the way in Ontario. Solar energy stocks have been rocking for the most part. Canadian Solar is one of the few holdouts going the wrong way.
Why the long face, short-seller?
These seven companies have literally seen better days. The market has rewarded many of these stocks with reasonable 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.
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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.