Maybe the economy's holding up better than we think.

The Commerce Department revised the country's gross domestic product higher on Friday. GDP apparently grew at a decent 3.1% clip during the fourth quarter of last year.

This isn't the kind of news that will find worrywarts breaking out their tapping shoes, but it's at least a sign that the economy's moving in the right direction.

That's a good thing, too. I had no problem over the weekend bringing up several companies that are projected to post lower quarterly earnings this week than they did a year ago.

Thankfully, they're the exceptions and not the rule. 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 EPS 

Quarter EPS

My Watchlist

PharmAthene (AMEX: PIP)




McCormick (NYSE: MKC)




Tibco Software (Nasdaq: TIBX)




Mosaic (NYSE: MOS)




CarMax (NYSE: KMX)




Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD)




Lifeway Foods (Nasdaq: LWAY)




Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with PharmAthene.

As a bio-defense company working on medical countermeasures to ward off biological and chemical threats it isn't a surprise to learn that PharmAthene is losing money. Investors don't need to wait for a doomsday scenario to cash in, though. PharmAthene's losses are narrowing, and it's generating real revenue. Analysts see the company's top line growing by 83% for all of 2011.

Shares of McCormick hit a fresh 52-week high on Friday. The spice rack staple would seem to be an all-weather darling. Good times or bad, no one's going to put up with bland food. A premium brand may feel the sting of cheaper spices, but McCormick's performance has come through for investors. Earnings grew consistently even during the darkest recessionary stretches a couple of years ago.

Tibco's growth isn't a surprise. The enterprise software specialist has been a historical speedster. The smart money is actually on Tibco growing its bottom line at a headier clip than the 25% that Wall Street's projecting. Tibco has landed ahead of the pros in each of the previous 11 quarters. The trend would seem to favor stretching that streak to an even dozen.

Mosaic's quarterly profit is expected to more than double to $1.07 a share. Mosaic's phosphate and potash crop nutrients keep agricultural harvests coming, and that's a booming business globally when one considers the improving means of emerging markets.

CarMax has come a long way in cleaning up the stereotype of the sleazy used car salesman. Clean showrooms and no-haggle pricing have made CarMax a fixture for drivers looking for reliable pre-owned cars or a place to seamlessly sell their aging vehicles. The recent auto plant disruptions in Japan should help CarMax's near-term prospects if the supply of new cars slows to a trickle, but it's growing fine even without the unfortunate events in Japan earlier this month.

It's always time to make the doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. The wheels fell off on Krispy Kreme as a darling growth stock several years ago, but investors may be missing the "Hot Doughnuts Now!" sign that's been shining nicely lately. Store comps have risen for eight consecutive quarters.

Finally, we have Lifeway. When the company introduced kefir in this country, it was passed over by all but Eastern European expats longing to revisit the region's dairy drink. Kefir has gone mainstream since then, as consumers embrace the nutritional benefits of the live and active probiotic cultures that aren't found in conventional yogurt.

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.

McCormick is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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.