Earnings season continues – BHP and Woolworths

Financial journalist and commentator on 3AW and Sky Business
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The December half-year profit reporting season lines up for a big week, with BHP Billiton (BHP) reporting interim numbers on Tuesday, Woodside Petroleum (WPL) showing its full-year result on Wednesday, Fortescue Metals (FMG) and Woolworths (WOW) reporting interim results on the same day, and Ramsay Health Care (RHC) (interim) and Westfield Corporation (WFD) (full-year) stepping up to the plate on Thursday, as well as Qantas (QAN) Airways (interim result).

Other companies reporting full-year 2016 results include Caltex Australia (CTX), Scentre Group (SCG), Oil Search (OSH) and Greencross (GXL) (Tuesday); APN News & Media (APO), Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) and IRESS (IRE) (Wednesday); Adelaide Brighton (ABC), Asaleo Care (AHY), Alumina (AWC), Macquarie Atlas Roads (MQA), MYOB (MYO), Iluka Resources (ILU), InvoCare (IVC), OZ Minerals (OZL) and Estia Health (EHE) (Thursday).

The reporting season is about 40% complete entering this week, and generally the results so far have been good. According to Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, more than half (53%) of companies to report so far have beaten the market’s earnings expectations, compared to a norm of 44%. A further 22% of companies have matched expectations but still, on Oliver’s numbers one-quarter of companies are bringing out profit results that do not meet expectations.

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