More than a few companies that you know -- and possibly own -- will be reporting earnings in the week ahead. Let's take a closer look.

The week starts slowly. It usually does. You have companies such as Macatawa Bank and First Defiance Financial stepping up quietly to the earnings podium, but your best advice is to eat three square meals, hit the hay early for some fortifying rest, and brace yourself for an onslaught of market movers shedding some light on their quarterly numbers over the next few days.

If it's Tuesday, it must be Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), but the Internet bellwether's results will be just the beginning of the day's activity. IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) will also be spilling the financial beans.

Yes, AMD, the company that's been giving Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) a run for its money, will be delivering its year-end report. Semiconductors are a cyclical lot, and if you're unsure about what the word "cyclical" means to the market, let's illustrate with AMD. The company has turned a profit in each of its past four quarters. Before that, it went through nine consecutive periods of posting a loss. Don't worry, though -- the market's expecting the winning streak to continue. That's welcome news for the lucky investors who have seen their stock climb fourfold since it bottomed out three summers ago.

By now, you're probably kicking yourself that you didn't click that "Buy It Now" button on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). The company that always appears to be overvalued just finds a way to exceed market expectations and raise the bar even higher every few months.

Perhaps that's why its shares have more than tripled over the past three years. What's a wall of worry when you have thousands of auction listings at any given time for wall-scaling equipment and catapults?

While Ford and General Motors will be reporting earnings this week, Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HDI) is another company that really gets around. The company celebrated its centennial in 2003, and everyone figured it would do really well, especially with its centennial motorcycle line. It did. Then nearly everyone figured that the company would need to don a helmet to get through some rough comparisons in 2004. Guess what? The company is rolling along even better. In fact, during the company's most recent quarter alone, it generated more free cash flow than it did during its entire ballyhooed 100-year anniversary.

On Thursday, the hog maker will be looking to put a proud exclamation point on 2004. Even a decent showing will be enough to provide the company with its 19th consecutive year of record results. Sure, motorbikes aren't the safest form of transportation, but the stock has been on one long, smooth ride over the years.

It isn't easy being the country's most valuable company, but I'm guessing that General Electric (NYSE:GE) wouldn't have it any other way. From appliances to financial services to network entertainment to jet engines, GE really does bring good things to life. The diversified global and its $375 billion market cap will wrap up the week with its fourth-quarter financials, and if the numbers are at all reminiscent of the company's third-quarter showing, shareholders will be having an illuminating weekend.

GE was a well-tuned machine three months ago, when it posted double-digit profit growth in all but three of its 11 beefy divisions. The big company and its stock stumbled after legendary CEO Jack Welch stepped down a little more than three years ago, but GE has now regained its stride and, true to its word, keeps bringing good things to life -- for consumers and shareholders alike.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks 2005 will be a great year to take things one week at a time. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.