5 Sep 2011

Australia reporting season reveals underlying conditions

7:12 am on 5 September 2011

Corporate Australia's divided fortunes were clearly evident in the just concluded annual earnings season.

The reporting season showed Australia's listed companies are in rude health overall, but underlying conditions are more mixed.

In total more than $A65 billion in profits were reported.

Sydney correspondent Jim Parker says many individual results were not as bad as forecast.

Aside from the resources sector, standouts were Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank.

Industrial stocks took a beating, generally, thanks to the strong Australian dollar, relatively high interest rates and slowing domestic demand.

The biggest losers were manufacturers like Bluescope Steel and some of the retailers.

In the wake of the earnings season, analysts have cut expectations for earnings growth this year to 13% on average, down from over 20% six months ago.