Reporting season is over and overall it’s been a good one. As with every earnings season, there were some memorable beats and some disappointing misses but all in all, it was a fairly predictable earning season. Tech, telecommunication, fund managers and healthcare stocks impressed. Banks, financials, materials, weather related stocks and some high PE stocks disappointed. Companies are however generating higher profits and are either holding or raising their dividends, which is good news. According to Commsec 93% of full year reporting companies produced a profit, well above the 87% long-term average. Cash levels are up modestly and 62% of companies increased their profit which was above the average. Forecast earnings-per-share downgrades were only 0.5% compared to the long-term average of 0.8% and company were out paying dividends to their shareholders. This reporting season saw a larger than average set of in-line results despite growing headwinds such as a housing market slowdown, geopolitical tensions, rising interest rates, revelations from the Royal Banking Commission and drought conditions affecting farmland. Earnings on the whole seem to have shrugged off these systemic risks but they may play havoc in the year ahead. It’s important to note, that share price movements during reporting season are more a result of how much an underlying profit result beat or missed analysts’ consensus forecasts. Outlook statements also play a big part as well. These factors determine where the share prices heads. Here are a few stats that the analysts at Commsec have reported on: On revenues, 85% reported increases and 15% reported declines. On expenses, 84% reported increases and 16% reported declines. On profits, 93% reported a profit. 62% reported a lift in profit and 38% a decline (long-term average 61.4%). Of those reporting a profit, 65% lifted profits and 35% reported a decline. Of all FY reporting companies, 93% have issued a dividend and 7% haven’t. Of those reporting a dividend,…

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