The new trading week kicks off with (Nasdaq: SOHU) and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) reporting their latest quarterly results. The two companies have little in common. is a new-media speedster in China with a healthy interest in the country's online-gaming boom. Kimberly-Clark is the slow-moving paper giant with a predictably steady dividend stream. However, both companies are expected to post healthier profitability than they did a year earlier.

Energy giant Valero (NYSE: VLO) hits the pump on Tuesday. Strength in oil prices may be bad news for you as a driver, but Valero is expected to reverse the small deficit it posted a year earlier with a solid profit this time around.

(Nasdaq: SBUX) pours out its freshest quarterly report on Wednesday. The java giant is on a caffeinated run these days. Comps have been strong in recent months, and Starbucks continues to strike deals for some serious skin in the booming single-serve space.

(Nasdaq: IMAX) screens a morning matinee on Thursday.

The company behind the larger-than-life cinematic experiences has been signing juicy international expansion deals, but it's also pitted in its latest quarter against last year's wildly successful Avatar. A decline on the bottom line is expected, though the pros see IMAX more than making up the difference during the final three quarters of 2011.

It's typically quiet on Fridays, but there are no "Shhhh!" signs during earnings season. Drugmaker Merck (NYSE: MRK) and gas giant Chevron (NYSE: CVX) check in on Friday. Both companies are slated to earn more than they did during the same quarter last year.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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