Wall Street plays itself out in the same manner as football and pro basketball games do -- in quarters. The NHL and its three-period format get no love from the financial community.

After all, I didn't see a single publication point out how we wrapped up the first third of the trading year over the weekend. It's a pity, because it was actually a pretty good third for Mr. Market -- once an investor gets over the Greek debacle, the Goldman allegations, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, it's not all perfect. I recently singled out seven stocks that are projected to post lower quarterly profits this week than they did a year ago. Thankfully, there will actually be far more companies improving their bottom lines this week than those going the wrong way. Is it the more confident consumer?

Let's go over seven 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

American Tower (NYSE: AMT)



MasterCard (NYSE: MA)



Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI)



NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX)



Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN)



Time Warner (NYSE: TWX)



Blue Nile (Nasdaq: NILE)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Clearing the table
Let's start at the top.

American Tower builds broadcasting towers that it then leases out to terrestrial radio and television stations as well as wireless carriers. This may not seem like much of a growth story, until we get to its wireless customers. With rival carriers launching attack campaigns on each other centered on coverage maps, American Tower is sitting pretty. It owns more than 27,000 towers -- and don't let the moniker fool you, because the company has a global network. Perhaps its biggest push these days is into India, which is a sorely underserved market with plenty of upside.

MasterCard is next. Burned issuing banks may not be spitting out plastic the way they used to, but there's no denying that we are growing into a society that uses less cash. MasterCard is there to make the most of every swipe as the economy turns the corner.

Sirius XM is the only game in town when it comes to North American satellite radio. It has actually cranked out a couple of breakeven quarters in a row, so it's no surprise to see analysts expecting another $0.00 per share on the bottom line. The fundamentals are improving dramatically for the broadcaster, but with billions of shares outstanding, it takes more than $40 million in earnings to move the needle by a token penny. The flip side of the argument is to point out how far Sirius XM has gone by those standards when stacked up against the loss it posted a year earlier.

NYSE Euronext is set to report its quarterly financials tomorrow. The company behind the New York Stock Exchange has expanded its reach overseas. It's comforting to see profits moving in the right direction. NYSE Euronext had rattled off five consecutive quarters of shrinking year-over-year profitability before turning things around in its most recent quarter.

Garmin is another name that has crawled back from a dark stretch. The GPS company is a surprising name to find on this list, though. Mobile connectivity and map-friendly smartphones are only growing in popularity, making Garmin's turn-by-turn guidance less necessary. Well, Garmin appears to have successfully navigated its way to bottom-line growth.

Time Warner is the media juggernaut behind everything from Time magazines, Warner Bros. films, and cable news pioneer CNN. These may seem like sluggish times for print publications and DVD sales, but Time Warner is finding a way to make it work. The pros see quarterly earnings climbing 23% over the previous year.

Finally, we have Blue Nile. The online jeweler with a penchant for diamond engagement rings naturally wasn't very popular during the roughest recessionary patch. A tangled economy is no time to land on bended knee. However, Blue Nile should also be rocking during the recovery, especially given all of the pent-up demand for upscale jewelry.

Cross those fingers, but know the fundamentals
Investors in these seven 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 seven stocks wouldn't have it any other way.

Are you a buyer or a seller of stocks these days? Share your strategy in the comments box below.

American Tower, Blue Nile, and NYSE Euronext are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. 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.