It's not a perfect world out there for investors.
I recently went over some of the companies that are expected to post lower quarterly profits when they report this week.
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
The Fresh Market
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Zumiez.
Shares of the trendy retailer of outdoor apparel tumbled nearly 6% on Friday after Marc Stolzman -- the chain's CFO and corporate secretary -- resigned from the company.
Investors don't like when their top bean-counter walks away, but Zumiez will get a shot at redemption a week later when it reports what should be improved quarterly results this Friday.
The bulls still have the upper hand here. Even after Friday's sell-off, shares of Zumiez have roughly doubled since bottoming out in the mid-teens 10 months ago.
The Fresh Market is also hoping that the checkout line works out well for its shareholders. The company operates a growing chain of high-end grocery stores specializing in fresh meats, a European-style butcher shop, and a wide assortment of upscale wines and fresh-cut flowers.
It's a foodie magnet. It's also a profit magnet.
JA Solar is, naturally, a solar energy play. The Shanghai-based company makes photovoltaic solar cells and solar power products. Anyone who's been following the solar market knows that this is not its -- wait for it -- brightest hour. Struggling global economies make it hard to justify the government subsidies required to make solar energy installations cost effective.
JA Solar isn't immune to the malaise. Wall Street's banking on a brutal 29% plunge in revenue. However, those same pros see the company posting a narrowing deficit this time around, and that's good enough to make the cut on this weekly list.
Joy Global makes mining equipment. It was a market darling when emerging economies were booming and demand for mined resources was on the rise. Well, it's not doing so badly now, either. Analysts are holding out for revenue and earnings to climb 25% and 17%, respectively, when it reports on Thursday.
Finally, we have Vera Bradley reporting. The maker of stylish rolling suitcases and handbags has gone on to expand into everything from wallets to iPhone cases. The stock may be trading closer to its 52-week low than its high, but Vera Bradley shares have climbed 53% since going public at $16 less than two years ago.
There may naturally be concerns about a company making travel-oriented accessories in an iffy global economy, but analysts see the designer posting marginal improvement on the bottom line this week.
Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these five 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 five stocks wouldn't have it any other way.