Soups and sodas will be on the menu as companies prepare to make some news in the week of earnings that lies ahead. Let's take a closer look.

The new week starts off with a kiss -- Monday is, after all, Valentine's Day -- and then gets naughty with the scarlet letter of ticker symbols. Yes, Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) will be posting its fiscal first-quarter financials come Monday. Last year, nanotechnology columnists Carl Wherrett and John Yelovich -- who now pen regular industry updates for Rule Breakers subscribers -- noted the company's investments in the promising nano field. But Agilent is bigger than nano. The technology company rang up $7.2 billion in revenues last year, dabbling in everything from communications to electronics, from life sciences to chemical analysis.

Oh, Deere (NYSE:DE). The maker of agricultural equipment will reap its quarterly harvest when the company announces its December-quarter results. And investors are likely to enjoy what they unearth. After Deere posted an annual loss for 2001, it turned things around in 2002 and then doubled its profits in 2003. This past year has seen the continuation of Deere's explosive earnings growth, with the promising trend likely to continue.

If Coke (NYSE:KO) is it, Wednesday will tell. That's when the world's leading soft drink maker reports. The recent Inside Value newsletter recommendation has struggled in recent years with sluggish case-volume sales. In addition, the cola wars have become a boring battle that neither side appears to find worth winning. Rival PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is saving its best growth spurts for its product lines outside the carbonated-pop world. Yet while Coke spent most of the 1990s overpriced, it may be ready to reap the benefits of being underappreciated in the dawn of this millennium.

You'll be getting a double dose of discount department store earnings when Target (NYSE:TGT) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) chime in on how their holiday quarters played out. We already know that Wal-Mart started off slow but wrapped up the Christmas season with a bang. Yet how well each company profited from thrifty-minded shoppers remains to be seen -- until Thursday, of course.

Soupy Sales was a classic comedian, and soupy sales are the bread and butter of Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), even though the company these days also puts out products like Pace salsas, V8 beverages, and Pepperidge Farm sweets. Campbell will close out the week with its fiscal second-quarter financials, and investors expect steady results from a defensive stock like Campbell, although its flimsy first-quarter showing left some shareholders M'm, M'm Mad. Will Campbell bounce back to make the grade, or will Agilent have swallowed all of the A's from its alphabet soup? We'll know soon enough.

Want to learn more about the companies waiting to report earnings this week? Check out:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz believes that soup is good food -- though useless with a fork. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.