Bulls have had a lot to smile about in recent weeks. March was great. April was even better. What about May?

On Friday, I went over seven companies that are expected to post lower earnings this week. Today, I'm back to offer the flipside of that argument.

Despite the rocky economic climate, there are actually several companies expecting to post higher earnings this week -- or at least, narrower losses -- than they did during the same quarter a year ago:


Latest Quarter EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter EPS

Changyou.com (NASDAQ:CYOU)



NetSuite (NYSE:N)



Centex (NYSE:CTX)



MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI)



Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP)






Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)



Source: Thomson.

Clearing the table
Let's start with Changyou. The Chinese online gaming company has been on a tear since going public last month. Now it's time to begin its publicly traded tenure on the right foot. Wall Street is certainly upbeat, expecting earnings to nearly double.

NetSuite is only supposed to break even, but let's put that into proper context. The cloud-computing specialist surprised the market with its first profit three months ago, so now expectations bank on its continued profitability.

Centex is a homebuilder, and at the moment, it's hard to imagine a bleaker industry than residential development. There are plenty of existing homes on the market, sitting vacant despite their desperate selling prices. It may take a couple of more years before the surviving homebuilders turn a profit, but all three of the major developers posting quarterly results next week are expected to announce dramatically narrower losses.

MercadoLibre is a fast-growing Latin American online marketplace. It began as a hit in Brazil and Argentina, but has gone on to become the dominant trading platform through most of South America.

If the name Molson Coors doesn't give it away, maybe the company's clever "TAP" ticker symbol will alert you to its bread-and-butter beer business. Beer is typically considered a recession-resistant beverage, but don't assume that it's been all hops and barley at the brewer. If Molson Coors delivers as expected, it will be the first time in nearly a year that it's brewed up year-over-year growth on the bottom line.

IMAX should be checking in with improved financials, too. The provider of bigger-than-life cinematic experiences has been working with multiplex operators to transform some of their conventional screens into premium IMAX theaters. The real payoff will come in a couple of years, though it's comforting to see exhibitors faring well in 2009.

Finally, we have Sirius XM. The company's subscriber tally may be a bigger mystery than its financial results, but the satellite radio giant should post a narrower loss this time around. Between its merger-related synergies and several cost-cutting measures, Sirius XM may be a smoother operating machine than cynics give it credit for. Sure, a lot of the operating cash flow will bleed out as debt interest, but if Sirius XM proves viable during a recession, it should be even more potent when discretionary income bounces back.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
These seven companies may not deliver amazing reports. Keep in mind that three of them are only expected to post thinner deficits. IMAX may stumble with its leveraged multiplex partners in its ambitious expansion strategy. China's fickle youth may move on to new online diversions that don't involve Changyou's flagship multiplayer martial arts game. Centex will probably have more cancellations and a thinning backlog of new home orders.

Higher expectations mean these seven companies have more pressure on them than the seven companies I singled out on Friday, since optimism's already baked into their share prices.

Then again, just because the market already expects good news doesn't mean those tidings won't be welcome if and when they arrive.

Further reads to get you through the week:

IMAX and MercadoLibre are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. MercadoLibre is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether his contrarian heart will ever be happy. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.