We're about thigh-deep into earnings season, and next week is going to be quite the deluge.

Hundreds of companies will be stepping up to announce their latest quarterly results. The generally improving global economy and corporate attention to cost controls should combine to deliver healthy bottom-line growth on a year-over-year basis, but the sentiment isn't universal.

Let's go over a few of the companies where analysts see the arrows pointing down on the bottom line next week when they step up with their quarterly results. Some of the names may surprise you.


Latest Quarter EPS (estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS



RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) $0.35 $0.39 Add
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) $0.61 $0.66 Add
DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) $0.12 $0.24 Add
iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT) $0.23 $0.24 Add
LogMeIn (Nasdaq: LOGM) $0.14 $0.16 Add
Shutterfly (Nasdaq: SFLY) ($0.26) ($0.18) Add
Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK) ($0.58) $0.82 Add

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
There will probably be other companies posting lower earnings next week, but these are just a few of the names that really jump out at me.

RadioShack reports on Monday. What's so hot about RadioShack's small-box stronghold in suburban strip malls? Best Buy, the country's leading -- and some would argue bleeding -- consumer electronics superstore chain, wants to take on RadioShack by opening smaller Best Buy Mobile stand-alone shops. In short, RadioShack's about to post back-to-back quarters of declines on the bottom line, but it can always get worse.

Amazon continues to grow faster than its bricks-and-mortar laggards, and the current quarter will be no exception. Wall Street figures that the top online retailer grew sales by nearly 34% during the first three months of the year. The walk down the income statement isn't as kind. Amazon's busy promoting its Kindle e-readers at margin-crunching price points. It's all about the near-term pain for the long-term gains.

Life used to be simple for DreamWorks Animation. All it had to do was crank out popular computer-rendered theatrical fare, and get out of the way of any Pixar releases. Once it amassed three flagship franchises, life became even easier. DreamWorks could crank out a sequel from each property every three years, and balance that out by gambling on an original flick every year.

It's just not that easy anymore. This past weekend's top multiplex was Rio. A couple weeks ago it was Hop. These animated three-letter crowd pleasers have nothing to do with either DreamWorks Animation or Pixar. The computer-rendered ink niche is getting crowded.

iRobot is the company behind bomb-sniffing military robotics and the Roomba dirt-sucking orb for the consumer market. The pros think iRobot will come up just short against the $0.24 a share it posted a year earlier, but the trend hints at a healthier showing. Just check out iRobot's performance against analyst targets over the past year.


EPS Estimate



Q1 2010 $0.04 $0.24 500%
Q2 2010 $0.08 $0.20 150%
Q3 2010 $0.07 $0.27 286%
Q4 2010 $0.14 $0.26 86%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

LogMeIn has seen its shares more than double since going public at $16 two summers ago. The provider of remote connectivity is still growing on the top line, but analysts are bracing for LogMeIn's first dip in profitability after three strong reports.

Shutterfly turns digital snapshots into prints, greeting cards, and slick photo books. This is a seasonal business, and Shutterfly is coming off a great holiday quarter. It does post losses during the balance of the year, but why is it likely to be losing so much more money than it was during the same lull a year earlier?

Eastman Kodak's original film and photofinishing businesses have been hit hard during the digital migration. It's no Shutterfly! There is some speculative hope that a patent infringement suit against the leading smartphone makers over photo viewing features may pay off nicely, but Kodak's got a bigger problem. This will probably be the shutterbug pioneer's fourth consecutive quarterly deficit.

Why the long face, short-seller?
These reports aren't likely to be pretty, but there's still room for glimmers of optimism within the pessimism.

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.