Australian earnings season dominated by major resource companies

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

The second and biggest week of the Australian December half and full-year earnings reporting season will be dominated by major resource companies, both domestically and offshore.

The world’s biggest miners—BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale, Glencore, and Fortescue—will be the major reporters this week, with other companies also releasing their figures in Australia.

Nearly 80 companies in the ASX 200 are due to report this week, following nearly 50 last week.

AMP Chief Economist, Shane Oliver, notes that only about 35% of major companies had reported up until Friday.

"So far, so good with results generally coming in better than expected," he said.

Consensus expectations remain for a 5% or so fall in profits this financial year, with a significant decline in energy sector profits due to lower oil, coal, and gas prices, and a slight decrease in financial sector profits. However, most other sectors are expected to see flat to increasing profits. Results for retailers have been better than feared, with investors hopeful for relief ahead from lower interest rates.

"So far, 47% of results have surprised consensus earnings expectations on the upside, with 34% surprising on the downside," Oliver added, noting that this is better than normal at 41% upside and 41% downside surprise. However, he cautioned that this may reflect the tendency of companies with good results to report early.

Companies due to report this week include Bluescope, GPT (full year), and Lendlease (today); BHP, Perpetual, and Sonic (Tuesday); Charter Hall, Rio Tinto, and Scentre (full year); Stockland and Woolworths (Wednesday); Fortescue, Nine, and Qantas (Thursday); and Brambles and Latitude on Friday.

Other companies scheduled to report this week include retailers like Woolies, Bapcor, Super Retail Group, Cochlear, Ebos, Qube, Ansell, RWC, Orora, Tabcorp, and Bega Cheese.

Additionally, besides Rio Tinto, GPT, and Scentre reporting 12-month figures, car dealer APE Eagers, Aristocrat Leisure, and TechnologyOne have annual meetings due this week as well.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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