Well, that was a refreshing close to the end of the quarter. After a brutal May and equally moribund first half of June, the market rallied to not only close out the second quarter with positive returns, but to post its strongest weekly gain in more than two years.


It's not perfect.

There are still companies going the wrong way, 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 some publicly traded companies that are expected to stand tall this week by posting year-over-year improvement on the bottom line.


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

My Watchlist

A. Schulman (Nasdaq: SHLM) $0.64 $0.48 Add
OCZ Technology (NYSE: OCZ) ($0.01) ($0.11) Add
Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE) $0.76 $0.59 Add
International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA) $0.27 $0.22 Add
Zep (NYSE: ZEP) $0.32 $0.30 Add
PriceSmart (Nasdaq: PSMT) $0.46 $0.40 Add

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top, with Schulman.

Schulman is a supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins. It is truly an international company with 33 manufacturing facilities around the world. Last Thursday, it announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Argentina's Surplast. Plastics isn't just a one-word money-making tip from The Graduate. Schulman has posted year-over-year earnings growth in all but one of the six previous quarters.

OCZ Technology Group makes solid-state drives. Don't let the trailing red ink dissuade you here. OCZ may simply be posting a narrower deficit when it reports tomorrow, but Wall Street sees clearer skies after that. The pros see a profit of $0.19 a share this fiscal year and $0.52 a share next year. In other words, this company with a negative trailing P/E is actually trading at a year ahead multiple in the mid teens.

Helen of Troy isn't just about beauty products. From Oxo grilling sets to Dr. Scholl's licensed foot spas, the company distributes a wide range of home- and health-related products, too.

International Speedway is the motorsports promoter behind Daytona, Talladega, and several more race tracks. Speedster-watching analysts are banking on a profit of $0.27 a share out of the International Speedway, ahead of last year's checkered flag at $0.22 a share.

Zep is an Atlanta-based company behind several industrial-strength cleaning and maintenance solutions. Zep is only pegged to post modest bottom-line improvement come Thursday, but at least it's moving in the right direction. WD-40 (Nasdaq: WDFC) is also reporting on Thursday, and analysts now see the ointment and industrial cleanser specialist coming up just short of its prior year's showing.

Finally, we have PriceSmart. The company operates 28 membership-based warehouse clubs. In its latest monthly sales update, PriceSmart revealed that sales in May climbed 18.7%. That's impressive, since PriceSmart has only opened one new club over the past year. In other words, store-level sales are holding up nicely.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these six 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 six 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.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of International Speedway. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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.