Steep back-to-back Friday sell-offs are problematic. They remind us that investors aren't comfortable holding stocks going into uncertain weekends. Given the tough economic news out of Europe and even closer to home, it's hard to blame the worrywarts.
Things aren't always pretty out there.
I went over a few companies going the wrong way on Friday, 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
Global Traffic Network
Pier 1 Imports
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Global Traffic Network.
The provider of custom traffic and news reports to radio and television stations outside of the country may have little to play for at this point. Global Traffic Network agreed to sell itself to private equity firm GTCR for $14 a share last month. However, in these uncertain times, you don't want to slip in what should be your final quarter as a public company. The last thing that Global Traffic Network would want to do is scare its private equity buyer away.
K12 provides Web-based curriculums for students from kindergarten through their senior year of high school. Don't confuse K12 with the post-secondary educators that are reeling from free-falling enrollment rates. The K12 concept is still an easy sell for students who need something more than the traditional classroom environment and high-tech educators.
Majesco Entertainment is a smallish video game maker. It had a hit with the Cooking Mama games for the DS, and it's faring well lately on the console front with its licensed Zumba Fitness and Jillian Michaels' Fitness workout titles using motion-based controllers.
Apogee makes coated glass for architectural installations. This would normally seem like an out-of-favor niche. There isn't a lot of construction going on, even on the commercial real estate side. However, Apogee makes the cut by simply posting a smaller deficit than it did a year ago.
AAR is hoping to lift off, as Wall Street sees the provider of products and value-added services for the aerospace industry growing its quarterly earnings by 31% when it reports on Thursday.
Diamond Foods isn't just about its Diamond and Emerald nut snacks. This is also the company behind Pop Secret microwave popcorn and Kettle potato chips. It will fortify its potato chip business with its recent $2.35 billion bid for Pringles. Diamond Foods is growing, and the return of football this past weekend will likely mean another uptick in the sale of salty snacks.
Pier 1 Imports traded for as little as $0.10 two years ago, and now it's trading in the double digits. We already know that the home furnishings retailer had a strong quarter in terms of shopper activity. It issued a strong initial sales report, buoyed by a 10.8% spike in comps. Now we'll see how it all plays out on the way to the bottom line.
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.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz tries not to worry week after week, but it's not always easy. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.