It's not a perfect world out there for investors.
Major market indexes may have hit multi-year highs last week, but what was the catalyst? The Fed introducing a new round of economic stimulus and the European Central Bank's plan to snap up government bonds in out-of-favor European countries may have eased concerns, but they were both ultimately admissions that things are pretty bad out there.
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
Source: Thomson Reuters.
Clearing the table
Let's start at the top with Adobe.
This may not seem to be a good time for Adobe. Flash is losing steam. There are plenty of free online tools for editing snapshots and videos. There's still a market to be had in high-end desktop publishing and website development, but is that enough? Well, it apparently is more than enough for Adobe. Analysts are holding out for reasonable top- and bottom-line growth in the high single digits when Adobe reports on Tuesday.
AutoZone has proven its all-weather shine. The auto parts retailer seems to always be busy during lean economic times when folks spend more to maintain their older cars. AutoZone is popular when the economy's humming along and more people are buying cars.
You would think that the pros would figure this out, but they're usually underestimating what AutoZone's got going on under the hood. Wall Street's come up short with its profit targets every single quarter over the past year.
Oracle is another company that routinely lands ahead of the market's expectations. CEO Larry Ellison is a master at managing the company's performance, and his timely acquisitions keep the enterprise software leader growing at a heady pace. Outside of a rare miss three quarters ago investors have to go back nearly three years to find the last time that Oracle didn't beat analyst estimates.
The consensus estimate calls for Oracle to earn $0.53 a share, just ahead of the $0.48 a share it recorded a year earlier. If you have to pick a side, bet on the over.
Rite Aid is the popular, though unfortunately unprofitable, drugstore chain. You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time that the pharmacy operator has posted a quarterly profit. That's not going to happen this time, but at least Rite Aid will be on the right path if it continues to post narrowing deficits.
Finally. we have TIBCO Software stepping up. TIBCO is a smaller enterprise software provider than Oracle, specializing in infrastructure software. TIBCO has blown through Wall Street's estimates with ease over the past year. Thursday's report should be another good one.
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.