Tickers in this Article: RIMM, AAPL, GOOG, BBY, PIR, DMND
Next week a handful of prominent companies will report their quarterly results in an otherwise quiet period for corporate earnings. Positive developments that make their way to light in the process have the potential to rally these names. Here are the four stocks to watch next week. (For more on earnings season, check out Strategies For Quarterly Earnings Season.)

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Under Siege
The smartphone maker Research In Motion (Nasdaq:RIMM) will check in with its fiscal Q2 earnings after the market close on Thursday. Analysts are expecting the company to report EPS of 86 cents versus $1.46 in the prior year quarter coupled with a 3.8% decline in total revenue. RIMM shares have lost almost half of their value since the beginning of the year.

The company is fighting intense battles on several fronts. Its PlayBook has not made the splash that shareholders had hoped in cutting into the market share of the iPad by Apple (Nasdaq:APPL). And the recent announcement by Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) that it will acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings (NYSE:MMI) will only turn up the heat on RIM in the smartphone space. It will be interesting to see if and how company management addresses the challenges in the earnings call next week.

On Tuesday of next week, the consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) will release its fiscal Q2 results. The consensus on Wall Street is that the company will announce EPS of 54 cents versus 60 cents in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue is expected to tick up slightly. BBY shares are down 29.7% so far this year.

Chic Selections
Prior to the opening bell on Thursday of next week, Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR) will announce its fiscal Q2 results. Analysts are calling for the company to report EPS of 14 cents compared to 12 cents in the same quarter last year. Total sales are expected to rise by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis.

The company recently said that its comparable store sales for the quarter will be up 10.8% over its Q2 in 2010, and margins have improved slightly. Pier 1 has benefited from increased traffic in its stores as well as higher average purchases by customers. Year-to-date, PIR shares are up 3.9%.

One other stock for investors to watch next week is the packaged food company Diamond Foods (Nasdaq:DMND). Analysts are expecting a big quarter when the company reports after the market close on Thursday. Diamond is expected to post EPS of 44 cents versus 34 cents in the prior-year quarter. Total revenue is projected to jump by 22.5%. DMND shares have surged 46.2% on the year.

The Bottom Line
A light scattering of earnings results next week will be closely monitored by shareholders of the companies involved. A couple of these companies could really use a big quarter to turn around their stock prices, while the others are just looking to maintain their positive momentum. Any positive developments are bound to be welcomed in an otherwise tough market. (For more on the relationship between stocks and earnings announcements, check out Earnings Power Drives Stocks.)

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